loving her is the easiest thing in the world

Dang, I love this girl something fierce.

We were driving in the car together yesterday, and her chatter floated up from the backseat - her words filling the air around me like a warm blanket. She's happy, this girl, and it's contagious to be around her. She is relatively unconcerned with the realities of life, floating through her girlhood on a cloud of innocence and laughter.

Just the way I want it.

She's social, yet loving. Spirited, yet tender. Sweet and spicy, all rolled into one. A contradiction that makes perfect sense wrapped up in her tiny 47-pound package.

Sometimes she leaves me breathless as I stare in wonder at the sage-like wisdom she articulates so well. Other times, I take a deep breath and count to ten, searching for that last ounce of patience while silently wondering why I have to explain myself to a seven-year-old child. But then I step back and realize that she wants and needs detailed information about everything in her life. She will not be dismissed, this one. She wants to understand reason, logic, and emotion.

I think maybe she wants to understand me. So that she can understand her own heart, too.

She brings a sparkle to our family that is all her own. She has the men in this family wrapped around her little pinkie finger, even though some of them don't know it. As a baby, she even knew how to charm the men. She'd leap out of my arms in the hallway at church, reaching for her favorites. She'd bury herself in their embrace and reward them with her crooked smile. They were like butter in her hands.

(Drove the wives of these men crazy who were trying to buy her baby love with goldfish crackers. Right, Cindy?)

She keeps me in line, and calls me on it when I don't do what I should. She is automatically my teammate and likes what I like because she wants to be like me (at least for now). I know she is watching every move I make, and that helps me walk a little taller and try a little harder. I want to be a better mom so she can be a better one herself someday.

I love you, Chica.

Just thought I'd tell you that today.