Ellie Jean, our 7th child, 4th daughter, and 4th (out of 5) born at home, turned 6 a couple of weeks ago.
I have to admit, I’m totally, heartbreakingly, head-over-heels in love with this child.
Renee says she was the most reluctant to join us. It took 50 hours of on-again, off-again, excruciating, go-ahead-and-shoot-me-now labor to get her into the world.
She can be stubborn.
She can be pretentious.
She can be a drama queen.
She can be a princess.
She is a beauty pageant waiting to bust out whenever the mood strikes her.
With blue nail polish on dirty little toes.
And 4 changes of clothes.
Shoes are optional.
She has a voice that is uniquely fitted for finding, and exploiting, noise tolerance limits. She can be annoying.
She gets silly when she gets tired. She laughs. Loudly. At stuff that’s not funny. And she shrieks and giggles so much that her words run together. But she’s not saying anything important anyway.
She toys with my affection.
Sometimes, when I arrive home from work, she comes running out of the front door, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy!”, and then jumps in my arms and giggles.
Sometimes, when I arrive home from work, she just waves at me from a million miles away and says, “Hi, Dad.”
Sometimes, when she’s tired, she’ll sit in my lap without saying anything.
Sometimes, when she’s tired, she’ll hide her head under her pillow and pout without saying anything.
She is missing at least 4 teeth – baby teeth and permanent teeth. They didn’t fall out. They just aren’t in her head anywhere to be found. Apparently, she was too impatient to wait in line when they were handing out teeth seeds. She wasn’t in a hurry to get to us. She must have been in the bath, or brushing her hair, or changing her clothes.
She loves to dance, but she was bored with dance class. She loves broccoli with ranch dressing, and everything that’s sweet.
She loves life . . . and tolerates toads.
Ellie is everything that I imagine human goodness aspires to be, all wrapped up in skin and bone, blond curls, brown eyes, and a fresh perspective. She assures me that grace abounds, and that love is precious.
I can’t wait to see what happens next.