I wish I could give you the memory I have of you tonight. My wild, tiny three-year old girl. It was one of those nights that I would relive forever if I could. Your hair was hanging in two messy braids, whipping around as you ran barefoot across the weedy grass. The sun was big and low, a giant peach sitting on top of the pasture. The air was perfectly warm. Perfectly cool. That temperature that is so perfect that you can't tell where your skin stops and the air begins. Like you could just reach out and swim in it.
We were out watering the raspberry bushes. You always want to help. You shimmied your fat little thumb down over the end of the hose and water sprayed up everywhere and you laughed and laughed and laughed, your face dripping wet. Before I knew it you had stripped down to nothing but a baggy pair of underwear and you were running under the hose, hooping and screeching, so pleased with life.
Soon it was time to put the chickens up. You kicked your dirty little foot in their direction and said, shoo! shoo! while they sauntered back into the coop. You ran in real fast behind them, tippy-toeing around the mud to check the box for eggs.
I stared down at you as we walked back to the house. Like a faithful pup right by my side, face plastered with the most contented smile. The orange light was climbing the trees. Your hair laid down in the wind and then stood back up again. Leaves fell from the old sycamore tree. And I felt so full. Full to the brim.
The realization often strikes me of how fleeting this all is, and when it does it stops me dead in my tracks. And I just marvel. Marvel at how adorable you are, those big words coming from your tiny mouth. Marvel at the amount of love my heart is able to manufacture. Marvel at the way your bright soul illuminates mine every single day. Marvel how through you, my sweet girl, I have felt God's love over and over again.
Here's to another year of that.