|Our soccer warrior|
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When I first met my wife all those years ago, the thing that first struck me about her was her kindness. She looked out for the needs of others before considering her own. She smiled with her eyes. Her voice was gentle. She cared. She listened. She laughed from the inside. She had a clarity of soul that set her apart. She still does, of course.
Spend any time with our daughter and it quickly becomes apparent she's exactly like her mom. She helps others before helping herself, if she helps herself at all. She watches out for the new kid at school. She loves our dog. Fiercely. And cares for him as if his entire world depends on it. She is tremendously nurturing with kids, and has become a leader in the community, a trusted summer camp and programming counsellor. She is insanely creative, as comfortable with a guitar as she is a sketch pencil or a camera. She protects and guides her little brother and is always there for her big brother, too. Being the middle child, she's grown a sense of self that I wish I had had at that age.
I drove her to choir this morning, and lingered in the car as she walked into the school. As I watched her saunter into the day that will be, I wondered how 16 years could flash by so quickly, and felt a little tug at the prospect of time moving faster than we'd like. But just as quickly I was reminded that the past 16 years, blink-like as they've been, have given our daughter the time and space she needed to grow into the remarkable person that she is.
I can complain about time all I want, but it makes far more sense to be grateful that we have her, and that she's already making her mark on a world that needs more like her.
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I know you know how much we love you, but we'll say it anyway, again. Because your mom taught you that lesson well. And your future is so bright because of it.