Yesterday we went to your 18 month doctor appointment. You behaved beautifully - spunky but not ear-piercing. The doctor marveled over how healthy and strong you are. Which made me feel good but the only real credit I think I can take is that I shove vegetables in your mouth in between your fistfulls of potato chips. But honey, that’s our little secret so please don’t tell anyone else. You are tall - very tall. Almost off-the-charts tall. Tall and thin (but not in a bad way). Again, I’d like to take some credit but I don’t think I can still attribute your size to the bowls of Lucky Charms I scarfed down when I was pregnant with you.
After your doctor appointment we went home and you took a lovely nap. I got to spend some time having some quiet time and then took a short little rest of my own. You woke up happy. So did I.
Shortly after we woke up, we scurried off to the park for your 18 month photo-shoot. You were adorable, but a little annoyed with the idea that you needed to keep looking at me or the photographer. At one point, I did not know what to do anymore to make you look AWAY from the pebbles you were clutching in your hands. So I sang. You stopped immediately, stared and me and smiled a gloriously beautiful smile. Oh how you warmed my heart there. We saw a small dog and you stomped your feet and giggled with complete and utter joy when he would get near you. I think you need a dog of your own. We played at the park while you got your picture taken for over an hour. It was well past your lunch time but you didn’t seem to mind one bit.
We got home and had lunch together. You ate your entire meal without fussing. You did not throw food at me or smear it in your hair. You attempted to stab crackers with your fork and were completely befuddled when they crumbled into a million tiny pieces. You’d poke them, watch them break apart, and then pick up your fork and stare at the end of it - wondering what just happened there. You ate some yogurt with a spoon. See how I mentioned crackers up there? You said that. You actually said several times “cracker, cracker, cracker.”
We played for a little while longer, reading some books together. I asked you if you were tired and wanted a nap and you ran to your crib and tried to climb up the rails. Again, you had a wonderful rest.
When you woke up, you happily snacked on your fruit snacks and drank all of your juice. Then you ran around and entertained yourself. You also decided it would be fun to stand on a chair by the table and play with the placemats. Occassionally, you ran to the window to see if there were any birdies, or perhaps a certain beloved Daddy coming home from work.
Daddy was a little late for supper so you and I ate together. Again, you ate well, even eating your peas without prompting. One by one you would pick them up and pop them into your mouth. This all went really well until you discovered you could squish them in between your fingers. Things got messy. But I didn’t mind.
After supper we went on a walk. I fully intended to just go on a walk and not go to the park, seeing as how we had spent over an hour there earlier that day, but I changed my mind, knowing you would love a little more time in a swing. You swang and smiled at all the kids around you. People remarked what a sweet smiley little girl you were. We headed home and got you ready for bed. When I asked you to go get a drink, you ran to the kitchen and waited patiently. When I told you we had to brush your teeth, you ran into the bathroom and stood by the sink. When I asked you to pick out a book, you selected one and brought it to me. I read to you. Gave you a kiss on your head. Placed you in bed. Covered you with a few light blankets. Turned out the light. You never fussed.
Early this morning we had some big storms. Your Daddy went to check on you and discovered those lightning strikes indeed had woken you up. He held you close and for a while we all hung out in the basement together. Soon the bad storms were gone, but you were very much awake. You snuggled with us in bed for a while. But it wasn’t long before you began picking my nose, sticking your finger in my ear and pulling my hair. Daddy picked you up and pulled you close to him. He told you it was time to sleep and then he pretended to snore. You thought this was hilarious so you started to “pretend” to snore too. I laughed.
When I got to work this morning, the pictures from your photo shoot were online. I looked at all 74 pictures of you. Reagan, I laughed out loud. You are so adorable and so many of them captured you just exactly as you are. Beautiful. You are breathtakingly beautiful. What an awesome God we have who can create such a gorgeous little girl. What a precious gift you are. Your simple smile fills me with joy. Your laughter makes me laugh. Your happiness makes me cry. And in a world where little ones can be snatched away, in a life where we don’t know how much time we will have with you, in a time when people around me are facing the loss of dearly loved little ones, I know that every second with you is an unspeakable blessing. One which I do not deserve. One which I cannot repay.
I look back on my life and see all the many times I have had to make hard decisions or endure a painful experience. Oh little girl, if this is the only way to get to you, it has all been oh so very worth it. To know that all the good and bad things have brought me to you, well, I’d do it all again a thousand times over. Lately I have seen the goodness of His plan so clearly.
You are such a sweet sweet little girl. And you have made my life so much richer. I praise the Lord that He ordained these days. I praise Him for every moment I have ever spent with you. What a treasure you are.