To my daughter on her birthday…

Sophia turns 6

Dear Sophia,

It was on a wintry Oklahoma morning six years ago today that you came bawling into the world.

Today is your sixth birthday.

Sophia and Kai-kaiIn appearance you are petite and graceful, with pale blue eyes and willowy blond tresses that fall carelessly upon your brow. You are short, to be sure (especially compared to your siblings) but you have a personality and manner that far outreaches your grasp. You are the archetype of the little person with a Napoleonic tendency, you are my Princess Sophia.

Among your friends and peers, you lead the way. While you are initially shy toward strangers or other children you have just met, you bond swiftly. Indeed, it seems you have a strong ambition to have many friends and you somehow are able maintain a deep connection to them all… even if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen them.

You are demure and yet a natural coquette at the same time. I can only marvel at this. For it is certainly not a trait that has ever been encouraged in our household, yet I cannot deny it… you are a little flirt. But this is not to imply that your affections are entirely insincere, simply that you possess an inordinate amount of charisma that people seem to gravitate around you. I can only wonder at how this is going to develop as you grow older.

Within our family you hold the favored position of being the youngest girl, which prompts a sort of protective cocoon from both your parents and siblings. Still, you carry yourself with a mettle that indicates you don’t need to be protected, and yet your revel in this comfort at the same time. A child of strange and beguiling contrasts you certainly are.

Sophia homecoming princessYour relationship with Liam is one of tenderness and contention in equal measure. While you admire and adore him as though he was your elder, you also take a strange delight in playfully antagonizing him as well. It is similar with Israel, the two of you rarely (if ever) actually quarrel, but you like needling him just to the edge of actually annoyance, without going over into outright hostility.

As with Liam, you are also playful and affectionate with Xander. While you were initially disappointed to learn that your new sibling would be a brother and not a baby sister, you quickly rallied to the idea of another baby brother. You love holding and cuddling with him, whether he likes it or not.

With Gaelynn you are still too far apart in age to be confidants, but the two of you get along very well. More often than not you’ll sneak into bed with your elder sister. You two are close, but separated by the very different seasons of life you are experiencing. As this gulf narrows in time, I pray you grow closer in kinship.

In a similar manner I suspect you and your mother will have an even greater affection with time than you do know, though for now we can only wonder at how two people such as we gave rise to a child of your peculiar mixture of traits. Coy and yet cavalier, doggedly determined and yet a delicate princess.

Happy birthday my sweet girl, and may you continue to grow ever lovely as you grow stronger in my heart’s love.

 

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