This is the little girl that introduced me to motherhood.
This is the little bundle that taught me how full my heart could get, so full that I felt it might burst; so full that it sometimes ached.
This is the baby that slept well, that ate well, that snuggled, that quietly observed.
This is the toddler that daintily put on her ballet shoes and her tutu and twirled.
This is the little girl that picked dandelions and clover blossoms on Easter Sunday.
When William had his stroke, we shuffled this little girl off to the neighbor’s house once or twice a week so she didn’t have to hear him scream and cry during his physical therapy. And though I think she would have preferred to stay home with me, she never said a word. She just did what I asked.
This is the little girl that I took to preschool that first day. When all the other children looked a bit nervous, clinging to their mommies, Kate sat confidently with a puzzle and replied with a simple “yes” when I asked her if she was ready for me to leave.
This is the four year old little girl that understood and didn’t make a fuss when I told her that the dress she loved so much was very expensive, and that we needed to go home and think about it before we spent that much money on it.
This is the little girl that would not get out of bed without Mommy coming to get her. She would yell down from her room “I’m ready to get up!” And she would patiently wait for me to come and get her. And that could be a while–her two little brothers needed a lot from their mommy in the morning.
When Henry was diagnosed as hard of hearing, this is the girl that again got a little bit lost in the shuffle. Because she didn’t demand a lot. She didn’t demand the focus or attention that her little brothers did.
This is the girl that can get overlooked. Because she is a good girl. Because she is smart, and capable and responsible. Because she doesn’t get into trouble, and “knows better.” This is the girl that almost always tries her best, and always does well.
She finds success easily in almost everything she does. Which means that when something is a bit challenging, this little girl can get frustrated.
This little girl wants to help. It was she who offered me a drink of water one day recently, when she could tell I was about to blow my stack.
And she is a little girl who loves to paint her nails, and dance, and draw. She loves sparkley things, and giraffes and dogs. She loves to write in her journal, and she loves her Daddy.
She is the girl that I read with at night. We lie down together and she reads her book, while I read mine. And now and then I look at her, and she at me, and we smile.
And this is the little girl that I stand over at night, and whisper how proud I am of her. And how much I love her.
In this little girl, I see so much of me.
This is the baby girl that I fell in love with 8 years ago. Happy birthday, Kathryn Sunshine. I love you more than you can know.