My mighty little girl, you keep me on my toes! You are my fierce little one, always wanting to wear a super hero dress (especially the Super Girl one with a cape!) and your cowgirl boots, or run barefoot, wild and free. You love to dig in the dirt and sandbox with your brother, and find the fattest worms in the garden beds. My wild child, you love to ask me, “Please I just do one flip first?” when it’s time to get in the van to go somewhere. When permission is granted, you run to the front lawn and do a somersault.
As gentle as you are lively, you lately have taken to wanting to frequently be in my lap. You snuggle up close, a large pile of picture books in your lap that you want me to read to you. You adore being read to, and love to “read” the books you have memorized to us. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books are among your favorites, along with Mother Goose nursery rhymes and stories and Sticky Stanley. At times, you’ll run up to me and throw your arms around my neck, giving me a gentle hug and a sweet kiss on the cheek. When I pick you up in my arms, you often stroke the ends of my hair, as if it is a feeling of comfort or security to you.
Lest we forget you also have an ornery streak, you remind us every day. One of your newest favorite things is declare Daddy and Dinah to be “The Best” and everyone else “Not The Best.” I, of course, am Not The Best. When I wrap my arms around you and say you’re, “Mine” you stubbornly reply, “No, I’m Daddy’s. Zoey and Eleanor and Alden is yours.” You have been Daddy’s girl since day one and apparently nothing will be changing that anytime soon.
You can peddle a tricycle like a champ now, and keep begging to be allowed to ride on your own on a family bike ride, rather than sitting in the bike trailer. You hop on the trike or plasma car every chance you get. Being outdoors fills your happiness bucket, much like your sister, Eleanor.
You remain a social butterfly. You love it when your siblings or cousins are around for you to play with. When we go to a store, or even a drive-thru, you constantly ask me, “What her name?” about every cashier or clerk I happen to speak to. When you’re feeling especially charismatic you will wave to everyone in the store, like you’re the Queen of England addressing all her adoring subjects. 99.9% of people who encounter you on these days are completely charmed and do nothing to dissuade you of your self-importance. It may not be England, but you are definitely the Queen of Costco and Target.
“Why?” Oh my goodness, child. You ask “why” more than all three of your siblings combined ever did. You want to know everything about everything. Naturally inquisitive and incredibly bright, you take in so much. You comprehend so much. I sometimes suspect your understanding runs much deeper than we know.
Dinah, you are an absolute ray of sunshine. You make us all smile and laugh every single day. I cannot imagine this life, this house, this family without your charismatic smile and heart-melting charm in it. Thank you for being ours (yes, mine too!). Happy Birthday my ornery, sweet, funny, brilliant little threenager!