Spring - two years ago. I hadn't really thought about the date other than how wonderful it was to be pregnant during the cold months rather than the hot ones.
Now I see how perfect the date is. Spring is the season of new life. Baby lambs romping through the fields. Trees blossoming. Daffodils bursting through. And butterflies spreading brand new wings.
The first year was a blur of changes for us. Moving from Oregon to Mozambique and starting new jobs in the first two months. And getting you properly trained as an African mama by the end of your first year.
If anything, time has gone even faster this last year. And you've grown beautifully.
You are joyful. Your smile and your exuberance make everyone around you smile. Kids are drawn to you; adults love watching you.
You are intense. You stay focused on the action. Sometimes you just watch and observe what is going on around you. You're not an actress; it's hard to get a pose out of you for the camera because you are so engaged in what you are doing or what is happening around you.
You are flexible. It takes about two minutes in a new setting for you to act right at home. Though it may take you a little longer to fall asleep due to all the excitement. You're a great traveler and not too perturbed at changes in scenery and toys and things. And this attribute is oh so helpful at this point in our lives!
You've become more cautious this past year. You're careful going up and down things; not so eager to jump in the pool or off the bed.
You've become more independent, too. "Esmé do it!" is the oft-heard refrain. And you ARE doing it, better and better all the time.
And you know all about possession. "My dolly!" "Esmé's chair!" Or sometimes it's Pappa's plate, or Mommy's shirt.
You are stubborn, too. Or perhaps determined. You can hold an argument with the best of them. You and Pappa were just debating about M and W shapes last night, and there was no way you were going to back down.
Perhaps one of your most challenging attributes right now is your impatience. You know what you want, when you want it, and you want it RIGHT NOW! I talk about going to the airport to see airplanes sometime this week, and you're headed for the door immediately. I go to the kitchen to start making lunch, and you're suddenly there on my toes, demanding to be fed right away.
My bright, growing little girl, I know God has a special purpose for you. His work isn't always immediate, though. Usually it takes time. Usually you have to wait a little while. Sometimes the waiting is painful. And the results aren't always what you expect.
This season of birthdays, this season of spring, I want you to remember this: "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." (Richard Bach)
You are a challenge, and you are a joy. It is such a privilege to watch you grow and flutter those wings a little more every day. May you always keep looking to the future with anticipation for what the Master has in store for you.