Six years ago today we had said goodbye to two-year-old Olivia, letting her spend the night away from us for the first time ever. Her new baby brother or sister (we had no idea which it would be) was due in just a couple of days, but it could be another week for all we knew. Doug and I sat together in the strange childless silence, wondering how long the wait would be.
The timing ended up being perfect, for Angela Elizabeth took her first breath a little before 1:00 the next afternoon.
I will confess, the first year was not fun. Angie was not a happy baby. She seemed to prefer eating and screaming over anything else, including sleeping! But, somehow even in the midst of those crazy months of exhaustion, Angie was already developing her magnetic personality.
Total strangers would ooh and aah over our baby. They would remark on her beauty and her sweetness. Sometimes I wondered when I would see more than occasional glimpses of the child everyone loved - in my exhaustion I frequently missed it. But, as she grew and became more independent, I began to see more of what others noticed immediately.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, this little sweetheart stole our hearts. We knew early on that she was a princess. Despite those chunky baby legs and the lack of hair, she pranced around as if she were born for the position. She thrills to dress up in beautiful dresses - in fact, she could care less if she never owned a pair of pants or shorts!
As she learned to talk, she would shock us to no end with the funny things she would say. I wonder sometimes if she spent those months before she began speaking (in complete sentences - no starting with a few words for her!) coming up with smart comebacks and witty one-liners. It never has taken her much to have us rolling in the floor! One of her favorite things to do while pretending is to speak in the best British accent she can muster, pretending to be a fancy ballerina or the most proper of princesses.
Despite the magnetism of her smile and personality, Angie would much prefer to not be in the limelight. She performs best for no audience - in fact, seeing the best of her must be done without her knowing she's being watched. The one who naturally draws people in would just as soon be alone!
But, she is beginning to sprout those social butterfly wings. She is beginning to enjoy the company of others more and more. She still loves to go away by herself and have some quiet time, but friends are becoming more important to her.
A brand new first grader, Angela loves school and excels in all she attempts. Learning comes naturally to this little princess.
Sweet Angela is our emotional one with a huge heart and passionate desires. Some days she melts easily, others she is all smiles. But, over the years we have definitely seen what our exhaustion in those first months caused us to frequently miss - she is an amazingly precious princess, special to all she meets.
Happy sixth birthday, my sweet princess! I love you!