I'm not sure when the shift happened exactly, if your toddlerhood faded with the need for diapers and naps and sippy cups, or if you achieved little girl status with your first day of preschool or your first independent scooter ride.
But what is most certainly true is that, somehow, it has happened. You, my Ellie girl, are indeed a little girl, a precious, delightful, insightful little girl.
There is much about you that hasn't changed. You remain curious, imaginative, and thoughtful. You are still tentative in new situations and fiercely and creatively argumentative when trying to get your way. You continue to enjoy building things and making crafts and playing dress-up.
But there are changes too. You don't play with your baby dolls as much, though you can't stop admiring any newborn you see. You're into princesses now, so much so that "Rella" and "El-sa" and "Anna" are among your sister's first words. You are getting more confident every day on your scooter and your bike, speeding around our little court with a broad smile on your face.
I'm beginning to see that you're a homebody like your mommy. As much as you love preschool, you are often reluctant to go, telling me how much you want to stay home with your mommy and your sister. You rarely request to leave the house and go somewhere, but you regularly ask if anyone is coming over or if we can go outside and play with your neighborhood buddy.
You think deeply about things. The other morning, minutes after waking up, you asked me who took care of the first people on Earth. I stopped blow drying my hair and tried to explain that Adam and Eve weren't created as babies, so they were able to take care of their children. After processing that, you asked how there could be more babies since Adam and Eve only had boys.
There is so much I think about these days as I see the world through your eyes. It is daunting to try to answer your questions about God and friendship, to teach you about manners and integrity. Often at night, when I go in your room to check on you before heading to bed myself, I find myself praying for help.
You've told me, Ellie girl, that you can't hear God speak to you, that you don't yet know how to listen for Him in your heart. But I pray that in the year to come, He will become increasingly real to you in a very personal way, just as He did for your four year-old Mommy so many years ago.