"Basden Joy, would you rather do gymnastics or horse lessons this fall? Or volleyball?"
She looked thoughtful as she helped me pull her duvet cover and sheets to the top of her bed, aligning the pillows as we straightened her bed that morning.
"Well, do they have mommy lessons? Is there somewhere I can learn how to be a Mommy?"
I could stop right there.
Right there, without any more description, you'd have a pretty good idea of the way my daughter's heart is shaped.
Basden Joy, that's when you know you were born with a nurturing heart. You never have to wonder. If in the years to come the Lord calls you His service of caring for orphans in a distant land, you never, ever have to question if He made you for this. Or when you are climbing out of a warm bed into a cold night to - again - calm your infant babe, or wiping applesauce for the hundreth time from your toddler's chubby chin, or keeping your friend's rambunctious children as she recovers from surgery... you don't have to wonder if you're up for the task.
I will never forget you holding little Esther, your feisty newborn sister. You were only two and a half, a little cherub with golden hair perched on a sofa cushion or the floor, or wherever your baby sister was. You would cradle her in your arms as best you could, her little fists grabbing for your face and hair, and as she literally pulled tufts of blonde hair from your head, you would gently lean your face towards hers and whisper, "Now Essie, don't do that, Essie. Don't pull hair, sweet girl."
Daboo and I didn't know whether to scold Esther or hug you - or both!
You emulate leadership and like to organize things, and you seem to know when to back down on something unimportant. But - if it's important to you - watch out. As Daboo reminded me years ago, it's a good thing that you're strong. The last thing we would want is for you to let people run over you, to be a follower. Especially as a girl, I'm so grateful you know when to stand your ground. That will be a necessity in the growing up process.
Sometimes I'm surprised with your desire to be on stage - whether in the choir for Music Camp, or with school plays. Last year you played the Narrator in A Christmas Carol, and I was again taken aback at your comfort on stage, delivering lines, and ad libbing when the microphones didn't work.
I see you make choices in your classroom to be a leader, to make hard choices that you know are right, rather than following a popular lead. You play with friends when they don't have any, you're careful not to gossip about others, and you seem to care more about learning than about what social element might be going on in the classroom.
I love, love, love getting to be your mom. I'm so thankful for the very unique and specific role you play in our family. You are truly a joy, Basden Joy.