It was such a pleasure to observe her with her classmates. There was a little band there playing songs for the kids and she was dancing and bouncing and singing along the whole time. She's come such a long way since we began in September. She has really blossomed into a social girl, an observer of those around her, a sweet conversationalist. My heart swelled to see the confidence with which she moved about her world.
It was a potluck party and we made cookies earlier in the day to take. She was in charge of carrying them and while I was extracting Henry from his carseat she accidentally dropped the cookies in the parking lot. While it was raining. It was one of those moments where everyone is wet and cold and I was just trying to get into the building with three little ones. I may have reacted a little too harshly to the spilled and ruined cookies. Then she said to me, so sincerely, "Mama, I'm sorry I dropped the cookies." She was so sweetly sad for what happened. And it broke my heart. I knew she wasn't doing it on purpose, I knew it was just an accident. And I didn't want her to think I was really upset about something that didn't matter. It was a little reminder of how sweet and kind and thoughtful she is.
After the party she was telling me about her friends. "I like Jonah. He's a really nice guy." And yesterday she was talking about how nice her grandma is. "I love her so much. Maybe she will come and see us soon?"
And she's so nice that she gets snacks for her imaginary friends (Beauty and the Beast). She has been very helpful with getting things for Henry and Olivia when they need them. Maybe too helpful at times (she tried to give Henry a drink of water and spilled it all over him). But she has such a kind spirit.
Last weekend she told Steve, "I just love my mama." And when they went to the grocery store she said it again. He replied, "I love your mama, too. Should we get her a present?" She said, "Let's get her an ice cream present. Or a bacon present. Or a food present." They ended up bringing me an ice cream present.
There are a lot of days when I feel like a bad mom. Like I don't read her enough books, or that I lose my temper too often. Or that I just don't have enough time in the day to meet all the physical and emotional demands of three little ones. But it refreshes my heart to know that she loves me enough to tell her dad over and over again. Maybe I'm not doing so poorly after all.
My sweet Ellie,
You are growing and changing so much. I love to hear you speak, because you can finally show me more of what is in your heart. And it is beautiful.
It has been a delight to see you come out of your shell this year. To embrace your world and explore new territory. You have opened yourself up to sharing who you are with your friends and family. And sometimes even to complete strangers. You cast a little light everywhere you go.
I'm so proud of you for this growth. Last year in Bible Study you didn't talk to anyone the whole time. And now you are confident enough to share your thoughts with your classmates and teachers. And your openness allows others who are shy to feel comfortable enough to open up to you as well. You bring out the best in everyone around you.
You are always talking about favorites. Your current favorites are green trees, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and Aurora (although I have no idea why). Baby, you're my favorite. You're my favorite preschooler who is growing up so fast. Who likes to wear pajamas all day and snuggle. Who likes to help. Who fills my days with laughter. And books (books are your very favorite).
I love you, my sweet one. I am looking forward to spending this summer with you.