We're finally getting back into our normal groove after the past few days. There was Halloween, which was spent at my sister's, and then Faith's birthday was yesterday and we actually had a real party for her (poor James, he will feel like the un-favorite) (making up words here). I'm glad that the kids get to enjoy all these festive times spent with cousins and such, but truthfully I am sort of glad it's over with. I just wasn't very prepared this year, not like I had thought I would be, so everything felt harried and it just seems like I haven't been my very best lately.
However, seeing Faith with her little cheap plastic tiara, smiling at the large crowd gathered around singing for her, in front of the cake bought just for her, just makes my heart warm and all aflutter. I am so unbelievably proud of her, proud that she is mine. She's my little strawberry-blond fairy of a child, blue eyes that cut at me when she's saying something surprisingly clever, a teddy-bear face that bursts into grins and giggles at the slightest provocation. I love showing her off, telling her accomplishments or the cute things she says. It's wonderful to see the pride that her grandparents take in her. At the party, all the adults stood in a circle talking of this cute thing that Faith did or that funny thing that she said. My mother tells me that sometimes I forget just how good of a child she really is, or how she's the easiest out of all five of her grandkids to take care of.
I do know this; this past year has been made immeasurably better because of her. My darkest days have been brightened by her presence, my tears turned to laughter because of her attempts of uplifting conversation. I remember the day that she jumped with both feet at the same time, on the sunny front porch of my in-laws brand new house. I think of how easy potty-training was, one day I just stopped using diapers, and she got it. She understood what she was supposed to do and she did it. She is a child of memory, she has learned an order to things that I know I haven't instilled in her, and she is diligent in preserving this. She remembers things said between Jeff and I weeks ago (which makes me realize I have to be VERY careful of what we say around her). She loves imagination games, loves girly toys, loves making her barbies dance with the one “prince” doll (beach Ken with scary hair). She runs outside at every opportunity, sneaks cats in whenever she can, and tries to reason her way out of everything.
Faith has a short temper, always has, and shows fiery explosions of anger. She loses her patience quickly, like her father, and gets worked up into a furious fit before I can calm her down. She has also has, thankfully, a sweet side that makes the fury all worth while. Every morning, no matter who wakes up first or what stage of the morning routine we are in, we have to cuddle. I have to stop whatever I'm doing and grab her and snuggle down into the down comforter and ask her about her dreams (strawberry shortcake band aids, unicorns, cake, That Calico Cat) and smell in her curly hair that always holds the scent of her shampoo. I'm always scared that one morning she won't want to cuddle anymore, that she will reach that age where affection from her mommy is no longer something of importance.
I can't believe she is three years old. It still seems like she should be my tiny baby, swimming in newborn clothes too big for her. I still catch glimpses of that, especially when she sleeps all long-lashed and rosebud mouth relaxed in peaceful slumber. I can't wait to see the person she becomes and at the same time want to keep her my tiny girl for as long as I can.