Ellison Jennaye, I’ll be honest. I was nervous knowing a little girl was coming into our family. I grew up with brothers and since Liam came first, I was feeling pretty good with the “boy” thing. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle the weighty responsibility of momming a little girl. And you’re definitely all girl.
You were a pretty easy baby–except for your affinity for pulling a blanket up over your head every time you slept (which you STILL do to this day–keeps this mommy praying that you won’t smother in your sleep).
Just like me you were bald for a long time. And once your hair grew in, you were just mezmerized by it. Put all kinds of things into it, toothpaste, glue, food, glitter, marker, soap, Vaseline. You even cut your own hair (and your little sister’s) one day. Good thing you look cute in a stacked-in-the-back bob!
After joining in all of your big brother’s antics and affinities, you’ve finally come into your own and figured out what YOU like (and dislike). Most things cliche like pink, princess, and ballet have piqued your interest, but you’re so free to be yourself. You’re not afraid to mix polka dots, stripes, houndstooth and plaid with bold splashes of color and more accessories than your appendages can handle. And wear the whole shebang in PUBLIC! You love to sing stream-of-consciousness songs at the top of your lungs whether it’s 2:30 in the morning and you’re in bed, riding in the shopping cart in the grocery store, or swinging in our backyard. You love God. You aren’t afraid to let everyone know.
Your incessant chatter, propensity to lose focus as you flit from one thing to another and refusing to take “no” for an answer can drive me up the walls some days, but at night when you’re sleeping and I think back over the day, they are the qualities that make you so endearing. And I know that with a lot of patience and wise, encouraging guidance, these will soon become your greatest strengths.
I wonder what God has in store for you. I see glimpses of what you’re going to look and act like as a teenager. And while slightly frightened at how beautiful and strong you are growing to be, I know that as long as we both stay close to the Lord, He’ll keep us close to each other.
You’ve made having a girl a true pleasure. Although you’re complex, strong and fragile at the same time, I think I’ve got your number. We just have to love you. And you make that SO easy for us! Who wouldn’t love to watch you create interpretive ballet dances for every piece of music that moves your rudimentary heart, ogling the highly abstract art that you work SO hard on, laughing at the so-witty-we-can’t-understand-why-it’s-so-hilarious jokes you make, and answering your incessant and insatiable questions about whatever pops into your head.
My little Elli girl, may you revel in today as we celebrate you. But know that this mom celebrates you each and every day of your highly precocious but exquisite and delicious girly little life.
Ellison, you glow. I had to laugh when we were shopping for your birthday boots and you were torn between the trendy black ones and the sparkly silver ones as you stated, “These black ones are so cool, but my color is sparkles.” Everything you touch turns twinkly. You exude joy. Everything you do is done with flair and drama. You make me smile my most face-splitting smiles. I have been nothing short of amazed at your life thus far, and I know God is blessing me with you. Even on my worst days, you hug me tight, don’t let go, and sigh out, “you’re the best mom a girl could ever have”–words I need to hear and you gift me with them.
I love you so much, Ellison Jennaye. I am so thankful and proud to be your mom and watch you live out the story God is writing in your life.