I can't comprehend 7. Really, I struggle. It seems like only yesterday. A very proud daddy, calling the kids at youth group before the cord was even cut, telling them you had arrived safely (you were born on a Tuesday night @ 7:18, the exact same time CAD started). The excitement and buzz around the delivery room as family and friends (LOTS of them) were meeting you for the first time. Pop Pop, handing you his Visa and saying you could buy whatever you wanted. Me, analyzing the road rash down the middle of your face, praying it wasn't permanent and panicking about the number of germs on the credit card. And thinking that you looked EXACTLY like your father. It all seems like it was yesterday... but it was 7 years ago.
This year has been a busy one, like the other 6. You are a spunky little thing and always on the move. Summertime is your favorite. If you're not at the pool, hours are spent in the backyard, making mud pies with the garden hose while little sister watches from the kitchen window, clean as the driven snow. She wants nothing to do with your messy shenanigans. You participated in golf lessons earlier this year, continue piano with Mrs. Claire on Mondays and are just finishing up Vacation Bible School. You recently started a needlework class with Mrs. Sly and AYSO soccer begins in September. So I imagine Year 8 will be just as busy.
You wanted to be a dolphin trainer when you grew up. Until Heather told you about the little "mishap" that occurred at Sea World a few months ago. Change of plans. Now you want to teach. Just like Mrs. Deardorff, who turned you into a reading machine this year, a true book worm. When daddy and I tuck you in at night we often have a hard time locating you under the piles you've collected from your bookshelves. And speaking of worms, you LOVE those, too. And snails. And frogs that were formerly tadpoles. You do not like spiders or mosquito eaters. Or meat. "I am a vegetarian, mama."
As I am boxing up all your 6T's, I'm realizing how tall you've grown this year. You have the cutest little figure and gorgeous blonde highlights that mommies pay big bucks for. You've lost your two bottom teeth and the replacements are slowly coming in. You have gorgeous tan skin and the cutest button nose. I hope you always know you are beautiful.
You have yet to part with your precious stuffed giraffe, "Gee Gee" and sleep with him every night. Something tells me he will be accompanying you to college. Which is fine. He's kind of flat and subtle, so it will work. I'm just thankful he washes well. You love wearing dresses and skirts and take your shoes, socks and pants off as soon as you walk in the house. We're working on this.
You are very sweet to your sister. And patient. Just last week you made flashcards to help her learn her words. You loved the first grade, especially recess, science and "pouring stuff into beakers." And art was a fave, too. Not thrilled with writing in your journal or what you refer to as "the indignity of the mad minute" (a weekly math quiz that had to be completed in less than 60 seconds before moving to the next level). Performance under pressure stresses you out. Your teacher said you were a joy to have in class (after Pops made a sizable donation to the PTA) and that she would miss you very much.
Your inquisitive nature, spirit and love for life are contagious. Really, you are the funniest little thing I have ever encountered. And so unique. Many years ago, a family friend passed a note during church that said: "Jess, keep in mind a strong will channeled for God is dynamite later" and it has been on our fridge ever since. I pray you grow to love Jesus. I pray we are effectively teaching you about Him and His love and His desires for your life without ever breaking your spirit. I pray you have a genuine and sincere faith and not one that was forced upon you.
You keep us on our toes, Kayla Rose, and we wouldn't change it for anything. We love you very much.