Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Esther - Fully Two

We celebrated Esther Jamie's second birthday recently, and I just can't let the benchmark birthday pass without lavishing love on her little life. A letter to our baby...

Little One -
You have acquired a handful of nicknames in your two years: Spunky Monkey, Little Queen, Messy Essie... you are quite the caboose to our already colorful family train. While this letter will never capture the entirety of our love for you, perhaps it will capture a bit of your radiant personality.

. Quick as a flash, too. I've attempted many times to sneak upstairs for a moment alone, but haven't figured out how to get out of the room without your little feet padding behind me.
S - Sibling love fest. Every time you walk in a room, "Hi Basden! Hi Branson! Hi Hudson!" You wrestle with them, copy every move they make, pull their hair to get attention (poor Basden, I'm a little surprised she doesn't have bald spots at this point... thank goodness for thick hair and thick skin.. she is patient with her little sister).
T - Talk talk talk. Incredibly verbal. You sing 24/7. Could sing entire songs before you could talk. Favorite songs: "Jesus Loves me" (as fast as you can), "Deep and Wide," "I love you Lord," "Baa Baa Black Sheep," the "B-I-B-L-E," "Happy Birthday," and anything by Toby Mac.
H - "HI" to everyone we meet - absolutely everyone we pass. In every store, on every sidewalk, even in the car as we pass joggers. And you continue with your greetings, pitch steadily increasing, until they respond back to you.
E - Everywhere. Worth repeating.
R - Really so darn cute I can't stand it.

Essie, you absolutely FILL the room - for better or for worse, depending on the mood. Most of the time for the better, but believe me when I say FILL. You are exuberant and comical and jovial and funny and LOUD and lively and lyrical and larger than life.

A few more tidbits we don't want to forget:
- You say "welcome" instead of "thank you." When given a cup of OJ: "Welcome!"
- Love to fuss in your carseat. When you become inconsolable, you'll calm down immediately if Corbin or I reach back and touch your leg or toes. Upon removing our hand, you start again. And then stop with the return of our touch. We've driven hours with aching shoulders for the barter of a quiet car.
- Hud calls to you "Come here girl." Wonder how long before either of you figure out he's summoning you like a puppy. Corbin and I laugh every time, neither of us wanting to correct him.
- At two, you are noticeably becoming more directable. Talking more, fussing less.
- Explore everything. Curiosity. If there's dirt or mud, your hands are in it.
- Inexpressible delight when the doorbell rings.
- "Here ya go" or "Up ya go" or "Thereitis!"
- You do not want to miss out. You stand at the door anxiously waiting for Daddy. Scurry up on a barstool. Cram your body into the blue plastic car - along with whoever else is already in it. Join your siblings in singing chants. Yell "Go Branson!" or "Go Hudson!" louder than anyone else at a baseball game. Yell for the other players by name, too.
- Vocal in the car. Daboo made fun of me for letting you start a pacifier at two-years-old. I let you keep it just to hush you up while I'm driving. Last week after an hour-long drive in her car, Daboo asked me where we keep that pacifier.
- Most content with two fingers in your mouth and snuggling with a satin blankie.
- When Bran puts his Toby Mac CD in the car stereo, he turns the volume up and we all look at you to see your huge cackling grin and involuntary dancing as the music ramps up.

The best thing about you, Essie, other than adding this bundle of LIFE and JOY to our family, is watching your big brothers and sister with you. They pamper you, laugh at you, take care of you. Last week we got a new trampoline at the lake, and I watched from the house as you made your way down the hundred concrete stairs from the porch to the yard, wade across the tall grass to the trampoline, and then before you could even lift your arms in a gesture of help, Branson was quick off the trampoline, in the grass, lifting you up past the net. I watched as Hudson carefully removed your shoes and helped you onto the trampoline bed. They instinctively altered their gymnastics and high jumps to accommodate your chubby (but muscular) two-year-old legs.

It's magical to see how different all four of you are from one another, the beauty of God's unique creation. Your little body is totally different from your siblings, you've got your unique shape and muscular body and dimples all over. Your big brown eyes showcase your curiosity and mischief and questions and adamant opinions.

We love you, little Essie, for who God has made you and for the COLOR and life you bring to our family... thankful for this bright and lively caboose!