these are things

Jessica has a special friend who is the constant in her life. When, for so long, everything in her little world was up in the air.

Schools, addresses, even what we would keep or sell. These things take a toll on children (hindsight). She also has a blanket or lovie. I thought she would cling to hers like I did mine when I was her age and my world turned upside down.

Turns out she’s smarter than me. She values people more than the comfort of the memories that she can’t keep.

I knew I liked her.

We met this friend at church, then we were neighbors, then not and now … We are again. And the peace that this brings her is like being grounded for the first time after realizing gravity was always there.

She likes to climb trees and listen to music, she wants to swim and always has a reason for a tent. She’s not a morning person, loves math, wants to be a rock star, collects stuffed animals and can bake bread from scratch.

These are the things I can chatter off to you, like a list in the air. Check, check, check. These are the things she wears for the the whole world to see.

What she keeps inside, those secret places for the daring, for the dreams. For those wishes we all count down on birthday cakes: those are what she shows me when she doesn’t know I’m looking.

Like sometimes she doesn’t feel like she fits, and she’s loyal to her core but confused when people disappoint her. She soaks everything in and, like the librarian of our actions, she can recite to you all the different ways we contradict ourselves.

She’s smart but embarrassed by it. She’s wild but held down for it. She’s curious.

I can see how she wants me to read her mind but I just can’t yet. I’m still trying.

Jessica’s a simple girl, she really only needs a few things in life.

First: she needs to belong somewhere. Then she needs to burst into color there. She wants you to watch her, but not sing along to the lyrics she’s composing. She’ll ask for your hand and always give you her heart.

These are the things I can see about her.

So is this face. #daughter #firstlove

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