You are a product of science and love, of desperate hope, and about three-hundred dollars.

Your hair is the color of newly-harvested wheat.

Your eyes the color of my favorite old blue jeans.

You have a single dimple on your left cheek, like an extra stitch left in by a careless tailor.

Your first freckle appeared on your right shin. Your second under your chin.

Your first kicks were in response to your father’s band.

Your first cries in protest against the sudden chill of birth.

When you sleep, you look just like your father, but, like me, you’ll never be called an “old soul.”

You love to “write songs” with your crayons and colored paper, using only yellows, peaches, pinks, and whites, because, as you explain, “Purple is too dark for my song.”

You are both a princess and a superhero.

Your sister is your best friend.

Your sister is your biggest fan.

When around other children, you giggle and play, run and laugh, but those you truly love, you stand next to quietly, reverentially, and silently reach down to hold their hands.

You love birds, airplanes, helicopters, the Sun, the Moon, anything that touches the sky.

You believe in magic.

You believe in good.

You believe that if you just wish hard enough, you can become a fairy who carries dewdrops to spider webs.

You place raspberries on your fingertips and swallow them whole.

You don’t want to take ballet lessons. Not because you don’t love it, but because, “I already know how to dance.”

And you’re right. You do.


You have all your favorite books memorized, and all your favorite songs.

You become frustrated and angry when you don’t know the answer. Embarrassed when you have to be told twice.

You run away when we scold you, only to return, minutes later, offering “I’m sorrys” and hugs.

Sometimes, I hear you quietly correcting yourself, repeating over and over the lessons we try to teach you.

You clear small toys out of your sister’s still-unsteady walking path, take daddy’s tools away from her, hug her when she falls down.

It breaks my heart with pity and pride, seeing the responsibility you already feel.

When you have good dreams, they are filled with your favorite things: Papaw, Grammy, books, daddy’s guitar, mommy’s singing.

When you have nightmares, you are alone.

Your first instinct is always to love, to praise. Everything new is wonderful to you. Hate and distaste do not come naturally.

Every day, you run up to me and say, “Hey, I have an idea.’

You want to climb every tower.

You want to build a palace where we all could live.

You want to hide. But only because you want the thrill of being found.

You don’t know that you’re not supposed to sing in an office. Or dance at a restaurant.

You don’t know that mommy isn’t the best dancer in the world. That daddy’s guitar isn’t the sweetest sound.

You are willful.

You are opinionated.

You are stronger than I think you are.

Braver than you admit.

You tell me, over and over again, that you can do it all yourself.

And you’re right.

You’re right.

You can.


Happy third birthday, my Honest Girl. My Sophia.

To the Moon and back. To the Sun and back. To the stars and back.


Special thanks to Michelle Rodgers Studio for the wonderful family photos.