You're in your blue period now, we say, by which we mean you'll methodically cover almost the whole paper with all the different shades of ocean, turquoise, cornflower and navy you can find, leaving a deliberate white border around the sides.
Your outfits always begin with your socks- usually the yellow striped ones, if they're clean (usually a tantrum, if they're not). It's hard to change your mind once you've made it up. You always make your choices on purpose, and you can't be hurried. You know what you want, and you move toward it with the determined, plodding focus of a marathoner at mile 24 of a race...never rushing and unwilling to be distracted by anything.
Sometimes, I want nothing more than to push you out the door in my overwhelming desire to get us someplace less than 15 minutes late, but you are solid, sister. You take your time, carefully putting on your purple sparkly sneakers and your striped mittens and your red-white-and-blue star-shaped sunglasses. And just when I think I can't wait one more second, you pause, lifting your head with a curious, delighted look on your face, cocking your ear toward the lilac bush.
"Mama! That's a chickadee!" Your chuckle crinkles the corners of your eyes as the black-capped bird takes flight.
I never would have noticed.
I have to kiss your head, sweet girl, and remind myself to move over into the slow lane with you. You're on the scenic route, and I don't want to miss any more of it.
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