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seven. (rocky mount, nc photographer)

Impossible. When did this happen? At four, when I really felt like you weren’t my toddler anymore?  Your last year of preschool?  When you finally learned to tie your shoes?  Or when I realized you understood compassion and empathy and grace…and you were willing to give it?

When did you stop looking like my baby and start looking like someone who will leave me someday? I can imagine it – you becoming a teenager, graduating high school, and (crying just thinking of it) going off to college to start your life and fulfill all those dreams and plans you’ve been drawing and writing on scraps of paper around the house.

Tonight Daddy read a birthday devotional.  God really did break the mold after He made you.  When Daddy mentioned you were the only you out of six billion people your eyes got wide.  But not because you realized you were unique.  You already knew that.  You wanted to know who was first, who was the youngest of those six billion, the oldest, and where did you fall in that line of a bamillion people?  This is what we love about you.  Your mind never stops racing.  When Daddy asked you to list your skills and talents, you said dancing was your skill, and remembering things from long ago was your talent.  And singing.  And drawing and art.  Oh, and saying things wrong.  You weren’t sure why that was a talent but it was something you could do.  “It’s easy to say things wrong.  I do it all the time.  I don’t know why but it’s my talent.”

We laughed.  We couldn’t help it.  Every time you said something it tickled us.  Which made you happy.  “I can make people smile, too.  Look, you keep smiling.”  You weren’t being boastful.  You don’t know how just yet.  But it made you smile that you could make us smile.  And I was grateful.  That you still have that sparkle in your eye that tells me you can believe great things about yourself.  It’s my prayer that you will always be able to see those things – in yourself and others.

(Drawn of your own volition just yesterday: October 10, 2011 – Six And 364 Days Old)

Later, as you were staring at the stack of presents on the table, you asked where we got them.  “All over,”  I answered.  That wasn’t specific enough for you. “No.  I mean, where did you get them?  Which stores did you go in?  Target or Walmart or AJ Maxx?”  Daddy and I just laughed.  Because we knew if we answered that still wouldn’t be good enough…next you would want to know what day did we buy them and where did we park and was it while you were at school or when you were sleeping and which one of us picked them out?  In fact, I think you did ask exactly how your baby brother picked out your gift.  “Did he point to it or did you buy it and put his name on it?”  This.  This is what we love about you.  In your world, there is no such thing as being too curious.

I love you.  I love that you’re smart, and sparkly, and purple, inquisitive, verbal beyond Seven Years Old, and wonder-full.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made  ~
Psalm 139:13,14

Happy Seventh, Baby Girl.  And while I’m at it.  Thank you, God.  For knowing how much I needed my babies in my life.  They are Yours, but I am so glad you’ve entrusted them to ME.

Jennifer Rubeck - They grow up so quickly don’t they? My oldest turned 7 and I just can’t believe it. Beautiful picture of her on the beach. Love your photographs.