six years ago yesterday, i was exhausted and cold and the doctor was saying you have a girl and i was thinking: who is she talking to? because i didn't have girls, i had boys, a long string of beautiful silly boys.
but there you were, pink and squalling that newborn mewl, fists and feet treading air beneath a warming lamp.
and so i learned a new language, she and her and daughter. i learned dresses and pigtails and ruffled tights, but i confess that some days it's still such a mystery to me.
six seems too small a word to explain you, to contain your exuberance and pluck. six doesn't hold that belly giggle, or your penchant for digging up earthworms and christening each one with a male name.
you are noisy and joyful and bubbling with songs and twirlish dancing. you are the slow-pokiest kid with socks and brushing teeth. you clamor for a good book. you adore everyone you meet.
you are bossy and magnetic and compassionate and every bit a child after my heart. you are my girl.