I'm starting with my youngest, Miss Natalie. She is five and a half years old and some days I still wake up and am surprised to realize that I have a daughter. After having two boys, I still find it amazing that she is mine. And she is night and day different than her brothers, that is for certain. She came into this world with a clear vision of who she is, and what was acceptable to her. There is little grey in her world, black and white seems to sum up how her opinions are split. Her pointer finger wags at us daily as a reminder of her decisiveness.
She is random, if you can even say that after saying she is decisive. Random as in, say, nailing jello to a tree. You just can't pigeon hole her. I get the feeling that if she were asked the same question, by ten different people, she would give ten different answers. And I wouldn't have been able to have guessed any of them. When I am asked questions about her, I really have to think, and I am never certain that what I say will be right. I try to defer to her and let her speak for herself, whoever that is on a particular day. The decisiveness comes in her answer. For whatever she says, she is absolutely sure of it.
She is particular about her 'look'. She knows how her hair should be styled and will know it is right only when the last brush of the morning is pulled through. She also knows what she should wear to school and who will like it and who will make fun of her if she is forced to wear it and who she will look better than and who she will not look as good as. She is keenly aware of fashion and how it influences her day. This is new to our house because none of the rest of us have any where near this kind of perception.
She doesn't care if she is smart. She is, quite frankly, in many ways an airhead. Flighty, even. She doesn't aim to please in academia. It is okay with her if she doesn't know all of her letters and it concerns her not that her teacher knows it. She is much more concerned that her classmates like her and that she can get a tray lunch instead of carrying a lunch box. She prefers to just 'chit chat' instead of listen. Her track to the water fountain in class is long and winding. Her teacher has banned her from getting water. Her goal in life is to stay on the green card and not get knocked down to yellow, but only because that means she will have to sit on her bed. If there were no consequences at home she'd be fine with living on the yellow card.
She is hilarious. She can describe the most crazy events in her day and have us in stitches. She says off the wall things regularly. People she barely knows come up to us and say, "I just have to share what your daughter just told me....." This scares me and her dad every single time. Because we can't even begin to guess what we are about to hear. Once she told her Sunday school teacher that she and her family lived at Wal-Mart with Jesus. See? Could that be any more random?
She loves cats, which she gets honestly, because her mother is also a cat lover. She carries them like babies, or slung over a shoulder. She pesters them until they hide. She talks to them like they are people, almost as if she thinks they might answer her back. The only thing she doesn't allow is for them to sleep with her, lest they step on her eyeballs.
She is way more domestic than her brothers. She can make her bed well, even though her bed has two pillows and theirs only have one. She gets out her own clothes and dresses herself much better than them. She is the first one up every morning and wants to be in the shower first too. She knows that if she gets in first she can pick a song to listen to on the way to school. Right now her favorite is "Lips are Sealed" by the Go Go's.
She thinks she can sing. She tries to sing every song as an opera singer would. She closes her eyes and wavers her voice. Sometimes it works (hymns), sometimes it doesn't (Beach Boys). She practices singing and takes it very seriously. If asked what she does well, she mentions singing.
She is a cuddle bug at the end of the day. She wants someone to scratch her back and she wants dad to sing "Hush Little Baby" while lying in bed each night. Dad is good about that because he knows it is important to her. She and dad have a special bond. She goes to him first if he is home. She passes my side of the bed and goes around to his side when she comes in our room, usually too early for either of us. He can calm her better than I can. He can reason with her better than me, too. I think she and I are just a tad too much alike, actually. Like matching magnets, we repel.
But I love that little girl to the moon and back, and I know she loves me just as much. So we deal with the 5:45am, Saturday wake ups because no matter how many times we ask her not to do it, we know we are wasting our breath. She will be there. And that is a good thing.
So. Natalie Caroline, we love you so much!!! Even though we never use the name Natalie or Caroline. You will always be our Missy.