I cannot write this without crying today. You are seven months old at 6:59pm tonight. And that number rounds up to one-year-old and that gives me the shakes. Every last cliche about time flying (the time after the 3 month mark, that is) is true. You are my heart, little girl. As you become less a screaming newborn and more a little girl with your own personality, your dad and I talk a lot about our hopes for Mary Kate the human being.
This Sunday we were at Saturday evening Mass. You were playing on the floor in front of us as the lector read scripture from Isaiah. "Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them,and do not turn your back on your own...If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday."
I could not have expressed my wishes for you any better. I pray that you will have a heart for anyone in need and a complete inability to close your eyes to injustice. I pray that you are pierced with compassion and filled with an energy to act. I pray that you will do as the Lord says and feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and clothe the naked. I pray that making others smile will bring you much joy.
As we stood there in Mass, I held you and could see you smiling at the couple behind us. You babbled to them and gave them your biggest smiles. I know firsthand that a smile from a child can erase many hurts and I was proud that you were making them feel so special. Mother Teresa says "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." My heart warmed knowing that you have a jump start on loving others, gummy grin by gummy grin.
I have to also say that I apologized to that couple during the sign of the peace for all of your squaking. The husband smiled and said it wasn't squaking, it was music. I'll never forget that. And while your music is like your mama's, off-key and too loud, it is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Keep singing, my girl.
This morning we dropped dad off for a boys' ski getaway and we were hugging at the airport. He hugged me so tight and you smiled at the sight of your mom and dad in each other's arms. Dad said "she's so awesome. I hope she grows up to have your heart and my joy."
Little lady, that would be a combination. I want to share my heart for the poor with you. I hope you take that from me. But I spent too many years experiencing the sad of the world and not the happy. There is so much joy to be had and I know this is one of the reasons God sent me your dad. Dad exudes it. He is JOY. And as he does every day of your life, he will continue to show you the joy in the world. He will lay on the floor and play blocks with you and throw you in the air until you squeal. He will let you pull on Monty's hair and greet that big ole dog every morning. He will let you lay your head on his chest for the millisecond that you slow down, re-fueling for your next adventure. My sweet girl, never turn your heart away from a person in need, but never turn it away from joy either.
As my prayers today go to a four-year-old little girl, another Kate, who is battling brain cancer, I am filled with tears for your health, your happiness, your fussiness, your new bottom tooth, your new ability to get up on all fours and think about crawling, your distaste for my homemade carrots, your love of bathtime, your obsession with your daddy, your love of pulling Monty's hair, your fascination with the TV, your high-pitched squeal, your time nursing, your smiles when we get you out of your crib in the morning, your curiosity about the world, your well expressed opinions, your uninhibited smiles. I cannot wrap my mind around the agony that Kate's mama is feeling. But I can honor that little girl by loving you better each day.
Happy seven months old you precious little fireball. May each month you grow to see more of the world around you, to fill it with your love, and to experience the beauty and joy of God's creation.
I love you, so, so much.
|playing with your sweet friend JE|
|hanging with mom at FOCUS in the ergo carrier- best money spent!!|
|aggravating your brother|
|playing with your sausage toes (and a great shot of those rolls. Let's hear it for the 75 percentile in weight baby girl!!)|
P.S. I promise to use an actual camera in the coming weeks so all your photos aren't blackberry quality :)