Where to even begin!
She’s the baby. But really she’s an old soul, this youngest of ours. Years ago, when this Mama thing was so new, exciting and terrifying, I wondered how we would ever survive with the house being all quiet and almost boring when the older three had grown up and journeyed out to make their own way.
Then we had this one. Her whose very name means bright. It’s the name we borrowed from her Grandpa because as it turns out he was quite thrilled for his youngest grandchild to also be his namesake. And it suits her, this name that they share.
She has a way of brightening a room with her impeccable delivery of jokes and one-liners. And believe me, she has quite a collection. She’s quite willing to be as goofy as necessary to make people smile and bring a little light to an otherwise routine day.
We’ve watched her bring an entire room to tears with a single line delivered well. Multiple times. Not because she’s trying so hard to be funny. It’s more that she’s comfortable enough in her own skin to appear goofy to others. I suppose she knows it’s a small price to pay to make someone else’s day better.
Perhaps that’s why she has so many friends. I don’t mean a number of followers referred to as “friends” on social media. I mean, true friends. She’s the fiercely loyal type who’s more interested in being a good friend than in having lots of friends. And the end result of that? She truly understands the deep value of relationships, and also has loads of friends. And she entertains them. All the time.
It could be one of her signature jokes, a cheesy smile, a dry-witted comment or random dance move … we just never really know. Basically whatever it takes to brighten their day. To make others feel loved. To show them they’re valuable. And it really doesn’t matter how young or old they are either.
I must say the older ones love her though. It’s because she’s an old soul. A modern-day Carol Burnett in a world trying so very hard to be a Kardashian. She doesn’t saddle herself with a concern about other’s opinions of her. Not in a flippant disregarding sort of way, but in an incredibly freeing way. Her playlist typically includes more Bing and Ol’ Blue Eyes than Beyonce. It’s one of the qualities that has endeared to pretty much every generation older than hers.
I think it’s this comfortableness with herself that allows her to try new things, even if they don’t turn out as well as she may have hoped. She’s brave enough to go for it instead of being tied down by what-ifs. It has served her well.
Along the way she’s discovered several loves – dance, drawing, singing, teaching herself to play piano. As it turns out she’s quite creative!
Balanced in the midst of the fun and games is her tenacity to finish a goal. From measuring, mapping and painting a chevron wall in her room as a 14-year old to pushing through a painful dance injury to be recital-ready. And she’s a spartan. Not like from ancient Greece, like she ran and completed a Spartan race last year. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Even with her tenacity in reaching goals, she’s still pretty laid back, just like her dad. She really doesn’t let small things bother her. Unfortunately, much of the time the small things include the clothes on her floor. She finds such details hamper her “throw your arms up in the air and let’s make this day a party” approach to life.
I suppose that’s exactly why we’ve not been bored for years.
She brings the same loyalty, humor and good-nature to our home on a daily basis. And with that, her love for Christ and His love in her comes spilling out in lots of little ways.
In silly notes, usually signed “Your favorite child”.
Original artwork created with the recepient in mind. Crazy photo-ops that leave us laughing hysterically and feeling loved all at the same time.
Hours of perfecting a family dance routine just to make her big sister and new brother-in-law smile.
So today we celebrate day 6,205 with this one! And we don’t bother worrying about being bored when she’s the only one left living at home. We worry more about having enough tissues about for when she makes us laugh so hard we cry. And oh, there are so many worse things to worry about.
You, my bright girl, have been the best sort of blessing and grand finale in our family. My prayer for you is that you keep following hard after God and loving others with the deep loyalty and compassion He has placed in you. Stay true to who He created you to be and there’s no telling how many lives you’ll change on the journey!
Thank you for loving us the way you do. And “You do you, Boo!”
Your Mama loves you! More than you’ll ever know!