You turn your head toward me when I say it, pausing momentarily from whatever piece of mischief you are up to at the moment: climbing the hardwood staircase, shoving some dirty scrap or crumb from the floor into your chubby cheeks.
You smile, and your whole face beams.
What are you doing? I say. And I smile too, because really, there isn't another option.
You, my Celia Bug, are a joy. A crazy, busy, exhausting joy, but a joy nonetheless.
You were a calmer, more content infant than your sister, and I expected that you'd be slower than she was to crawl and to walk. But you've surprised me. You took your first steps last week, almost as if you knew she walked at ten months and you were determined to do it sooner.
And you did, baby girl, you did it.
The funny thing is that while you're only just learning to walk, you think you can run. You often push off of one piece of furniture toward another, moving your little feet as fast as you possibly can, diving toward something your hands can grab, hoping you'll stay standing, but not really caring if you fall. It's all about the thrill for you, I think, the speed, the rush.
It's unfamiliar to me, the way you move. I am, in all things, slow, measured, wanting to be in control. Your sister too tends toward caution until she's confident she's mastered a skill.
But you, my sweet girl, just go for it, full speed ahead, come what may. I love that about you, look forward to seeing how that aspect of your personality will unfold as you grow.
I think often of those prayers I prayed for you before you were even conceived, that you would be a fighter. That you are Celia: tenacious, adventurous, reckless even.
But what I didn't expect when I prayed those prayers was that you would also be pure delight, that somehow even your most determined pursuits would be infused with contagious joy.