I'm not a sentimental person. My sister and I have had many a conversation referencing my "heart of stone" - it's just how I am.
But more and more lately with Cecilia, I'm finding myself caught a little breathless by the way the light hits her jaw, or the intensity of her gaze as she puzzles through a new word while reading, or the confidence mixed with apprehension as she decides whether to be friendly or shy at any given moment.
She is growing into a beauty, this girl.
We went to get frozen yogurt yesterday, and as the other children finished theirs (topped with every single clashing flavor imaginable) Cecilia (who chose nothing but fresh strawberries and half an oreo) dashed to the ledge across from the table and told me she would now be doing a dance for everybody in the shopping center.
Oh how my heart filled, nearly bursting, as she stood there untrained, but dancing for an uncaring audience. Toe pointed, arms outstretched, nervous hand twirling hair as she contemplated her next move.
May you never lose that love of beauty, sweet girl, that fills you with such joy that you must share it with the world. May you always be that child who strives to make everyone you meet, whomever they might be, feel like they are utterly and completely loved.
Effervescent, sparkly girl, whose casual theological observations leave me stunned, how is it that I've been tasked with raising you in a world that will do all it can to feed you lies and sell you emptiness?
I don't know how I'll do this, how I'll preserve this you that is what the world so desperately needs. But I know that I see the complete goodness, the refreshing purity in you and have hope that it'll all turn out all right.