Dear Gemmi Ro,
Darling, you are a lot of things:
my second child
my first daughter
our resident comedian
a little Momma to anyone (or thing) smaller than you
a true beauty
a little spitfire who don't take no crap from nobody, man
a clever sneaky little trickster
a roughneck wrestling tomboy
a princess in dress up girl fancy clothes
a story lover
a make-up thief
a breaking heart filled with empathy for anyone in need or hurting
a caring and doting big sister
an up-for-anything little sister
the fault line in your Daddy's heart that can bring all of his toughness crashing down with a bat of your eyelash
and my mirror; I see me before and You someday and everything that I'm doing right or wrong right now.
You, darling, are truly something.
But on this birthday, your third sweetheart, you are my startling and terrifying reminder that time slows down for no one.
Ever since you came bursting into this life you have been in a high speed chase to keep up with your big brother. I feel like every time I've tried to reach out and hold you still in the moment - to stare in awe at the wonderment that is this age right this minute - you wiggle out of my grasp and go on tackling the next thing that feels too big for you.
And now you're three! My second baby; my little Gemmi Ro is three! I just don't know how that happened; how time moved that quick. (You'll understand what I mean someday when you are a momma).
Right now, your favorite color is purple. You love playing with babies, but mostly you prefer to run around the house playing 'Bigfoot catcher' or 'SpyKids' with Grey while you guys get into things that aren't yours and wreck the place. You ask that me or Daddy 'pet you' while you fall asleep (rub your back or belly) and your body moves blissfully and automatically if you hear music. You love lipsyching (even though you rarely know the words), and you finish your prayers every night with 'thank you for the playgrounds and oceans.'
You still like to be held and cuddled, but you also are the first to offer affection to others; you talk baby to Violet and ask to hold her and if someone is sick or tired you 'pet them' and cover them with a blanket. You crave independence and feel immense pride when you can do new things on your own. Recently you've (somewhat) mastered: making pb&j toast, changing Violet's wet diapers, using the broom & dustpan, and stirring the cookie/cake dough without making a huge mess.
I am so fiercely proud of your empathy and capacity to feel for others. Although that will be a burden to carry for your life, baby - it is one that seems to be lacking in our world and I am so so proud that you seem to have it deep in your bones.
Just keep being You, baby.
Maybe that's it. Maybe being you IS growing fast and moving quick; twirling, dancing, and skipping while the whole rest of the world marches on in a steady pace.
Maybe forever, we'll say 'there goes our Gemmi, ribbon dancing in a tutu and camo rainboots; on to her next adventure.' I sure hope so, because stereotypes and expectations be damned. Our Gemmi will just do her own thing as she pleases.
We love you Gemmi Ro so so much it hurts us sometimes.
Forever and ever.
even when you get so big.