Dear YaYa Sister,

Four years ago you slipped out so quickly that we almost didn't catch you. In the ensuing pandemonium, I clutched your still-wet body to me, peeked down, and gasped, "It's a girl." I was so, so happy. I still am.

I do want to put you in a sound-proof box sometimes, though. Just for a little while, until my eyelid stops twitching from all that, um... protesting, of um... completely normal circumstances, like our need to walk places sometimes, using our legs, or the shocking fact that when we get in the car we put our seatbelts on, and it takes a little effort.

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And at the same time, when the emotions zoom up and down the freeway with no apparent governor on them, I really completely understand. I mean, I myself have been known to collapse on the floor upon occasion. And there was that time that I dissolved in tears when someone ate my ice cream. I think I was about 25.

I do understand.

You are a delight. Sometimes you are unbelievably sweet. You sit and touch my face and put your "loving" look on. "You're ssooooo beautiful," you say in your softest voice. "I'll love you forever and ever. You're the prettiest girl in the world. You're the best mama in the world." I don't think that I knew that these kind of compliments would come out of the little pink slippery baby that I first held that day, four years ago and a bit.

Let's see... this year you have figured out so much of the world. Cutting and gluing, which always involves a LOT of glue. Drawing beautiful, intricate pictures of people who have dots for eyes, dots for noses, dots for cheeks and foreheads and chins. Dancing. Making conversation on the playground. I love seeing you do this, making friends with the smallest of commonalities, like, "YOU'RE FOUR? I'M FOUR TOO!" There seems to be no end to the amusement I get from comparing the social ways of children to the social ways of adults. Like if I were to give a lady in the supermarket a high five for being TWENTY-SEVEN! WHEEE, SAME AGE? Wouldn't that be awesome?
This year your love for your older brother has reached entirely new levels. You often run to him and cling to him when in distress, a fact made slightly comical in a really heartbreaking way when he tries to walk away from you in annoyance and you get dragged along the carpet, crying all the way. Sometimes, though, his heart wakes up a bit and you get the comfort you desire.

It's the way it goes, I guess, living with brothers. You love each other to death, but I can see that sometimes you just don't want to play games with any fighting involved. And sometimes Kid A doesn't want to have a "Mommy lightsaber" and a "Daddy lightsaber." He just wants to whack things.

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You are a puzzle, my girl, with so much softness within you, and yet, a will of steel. I've never met anyone with such a core of stubbornness. And yet, because you are usually so agreeable, so willing to be the epitome of helpfulness and sweetness and amenability, we don't run up against that will all too often.

Except for those days when you wanted the red bowl and didn't get it.

Really, sweetie, I wouldn't want you any other way.

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All Photos are Chinua's and he is simply amazing.