You remind me so much of your daddy. Your dimpled smiles and general contentment partners beautifully with him to keep this house from being a total tornado of the extremes your brother and I bring to the table. You have such an ease about you, are wonderfully agreeable to folks and have reached a whole new level of fiery sassiness mixed up with your ever-present sweetness. It’s been amazing.
You have grown me into a better person, Estelle. (Your daddy says “ditto” to that.) You have taught me to slow down and relax; to let the dishes soak so we can have more rounds of peekaboo; to linger over post-nap cuddles; to giggle and chase more than text and research. I often feel harried and on overdrive figuring out how to best mother a two and half year old and an almost one year old. And in the midst of me striving and worrying and guilt-tripping myself…you simply toddle over with your emphatic babbling and wave at me with your arms to be picked up. And oh baby, when I do pick you up, you do this marvelous thing of holding onto my shoulders or neck and looking up with the slightest of smiles that soothes over the frantic. And invites me to simply be with you in the here and now.
Thank you, Estelle. Thank you for that. My sweet girl, stay sweet. My content child, stay content. My determined baby, stay determined. My fiery daughter, stay fiery. Many nighttime prayers are said on your behalf by me and Daddy, Estelle, for how we can be better parent with grace and for your future that will surely be a testament of grace. I look forward to getting to know you more. And I look forward to more shared smiles in our everyday living.