Four years ago my heart was totally unprepared for what was coming. I had no idea how I was going to be able to make a spot to love another child. And that precious, huge, screaming baby girl came out and I just knew how it was going to work- I didn't have to make any room- my heart doubled and grew and that girl captured us all.
And Charley Kate has turned out to be such a wonderful little girl. She is such a special child and I'm so thankful to be her mom.
She is one of the most emotionally tuned in kids I have ever met. She watches people and their reactions and reads their emotions. There is no faking her out- EVER. She can tell how you are feeling in an honest and raw way. She will run to you when you are upset and take care of you until you are better. And because she is so tuned in, it is hard when we "react" to a situation. She is so delicate and emotional, and if we have a harsh reaction she is genuinely hurt.
Charley Kate is such a girly-girl (wait until you see my post on her birthday party!!). She plays mommy and dresses up and twirls and accessorizes. She loves fancy clothes and cares about what she wears and notices what others are wearing. She loves girly toys and flowers and Barbies and doing hair and makeup and nails. But her most favorite toy is babies. She mothers them all day long. She is so natural with her babies too- she can hold them gently and properly and knows the "right" things to say and how to act with them. It's incredible.
But don't let her girliness fool you. She is TOUGH. She is ATHLETIC. And she is FEISTY (and those are all some of my favorite "girly" qualities!). She loves to play soccer and is honestly really good. They divide the kids up and it is all the boys and CK. She can hang and does a great job. She can dribble and wrestle and play tag and chase. She wanted to ride her bike just like her brother.
One of her greatest gifts is her ability in gymnastics. She is built like a gymnast- tiny and strong. She is super coordinated and really gifted in that way. And she just "gets it." She's not afraid to try things (that I would have never tried!). She continues to amaze us in her physical ability- and has all the coaches in her little gym amazed as well!
She has made some super precious little girlfriends, but really only "needs" a few close friends. She doesn't crave the social time like her big brother (or her parents!) does. She is happy to be with them, but also happy to be at home. She doesn't feel the draw to go to school like her big brother either. She is a little homebody and likes to be close (and I love that!). She has also definitely gotten into the girl "feuds" at school already. It amazes me that they can say these things to each other already- and we are constantly explaining to her to remember how it feels when one of her BFFs says to her, "You can't come to my birthday party" so that she doesn't in turn hurt someone. It starts early!
She really has no interest in letters or numbers yet- and that's ok. She loves to read books and hear and tell stories. She loves to color and "write letters" to people. But to sit down and learn specific things is just not on her radar. It will come!
She's got the most adorable soft R's in her speech. I know she will outgrow it one day, but it sort of freezes her in this baby stage a little longer- and I hope I have taken enough video of her so I will never forget it!
I can see her becoming a nurse one day- she is such a caretaker and such a giver. She reminds me so much of my mother-in-law (and she's a nurse/caretaker/giver!). Charley Kate loves to help whenever she can and really is the best "sharer" in our house. I guess being a middle child does that to you!
I could go on and on about this little girl. She has grown so much in the past year. I am absolutely enjoying every bit of her. She has got her Daddy wrapped around her finger and her momma is one of her biggest fans. Her big brother Jay truly adores her (and they make the best playmates!) and her little sister Molly looks up to her and wants to do everything just like her!
One of my favorite memories of this past year is my Thursdays with her. Both her siblings are in school and CK and I get a few hours with just each other. I truly treasure my time with her and have loved connecting with her before she goes off to PRE-K next year!!! And oh my goodness, I can't even think about the fact that she is almost Pre-K age! I am having a tough time with that one!
Charley Kate, if you couldn't tell, we love you and adore you so much. You are such a unique, special, wonderful little girl. You are a lover, a giver, and a precious soul. I can't wait to see how you grow in the next year!