To my daughter on her birthday…

Dearest Sophia…

Today is your third birthday, I cannot believe it is already three years since your birth on a wintry day in Oklahoma.

You seem younger than your years, due to how short you stand in stature. Still, you hold yourself with every bit of authority that you can muster.

It is as Shakespeare described his native England, you are a model to thy inward greatness, like a little body with a mighty heart. You are a diminutive and Napoleonic figure, a tempest in a teapot.

Your sweetness is tempered with a terrifyingly strident resolve and force of personality. Though one of the smallest creatures in this household, you show the capability of dominating those around you, despite where they outstrip you in size or outrank in your place within the family.

Even so, this balance can swing back into a dulcet fragility like the turning of the tide after the storm has passed.

Curling up cat-like into your mother’s bosom or enfolding within my arms, you will whisper stories to yourself until you fall asleep.

Of all the changes over this past year, I am the most pleased with how you and your elder sister have forged such close bonds. Though separated by several years, the two of you are fond of playing together in games of childish whimsy. Gaelynn takes special pains to include you how she might, though I know her interests sometimes wane from those of her toddling sister.

Similar to your baby brother Liam, you adore your older brother Israel with an affection that borders on veneration You find him fascinating, and everything he does interests you…  sometime to his great annoyance.

To your mother you are her “little helper” and show an eager cheerfulness towards even the most mundane of domestic tasks. Indeed, you are sometimes prevailed upon to remind the elder children of their responsibilities.

With your father, you are exceedingly affectionate and loving. One of the best parts of my day is when I walk through the front after arriving home from work, and you squeal: “Daddy!” Every time you say it like it’s the first time you’ve seen me in years.

I cherish what precious few quiet moments I am able to share with you over the course of a day. Our family’s rhythms consists on a constant ebb and flow of activity.. with moments of quiet punctuating the raging hubbub of errands and activities.

Happy birthday, my sweet Tinkerbell princess, may you see many more such gilded days as theses and may I raise you well, in the admonition of our LORD.

Your devoted father,
Matthew

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