I saw an article the other day titled something like, “How you know you have a spirited child”. I laughed out loud and kept scrolling. Let me tell you how I know I have a “spirited” child.

She told a total stranger in the grocery store parking lot a couple months ago, “Smoking kills, you know”. I started to scold her and she looked at me blankly and said, “What? I just want him to live.” She has also decided that wine is drugs, so if she tells you I’m a drug addict, don’t worry, it’s actually just mild alcoholism.

She wakes up before the sun every day, gets herself dressed, mixes up a spark for me, and comes to wake me up. She’s a giver. She just wants to make everyone happy, and I love that about her. I did have to turn down the 3 am spark and send her back to bed in her jeans and tennis shoes last weekend, but it was a nice thought.

I see so much of myself in her. She’s emotional and creative, loves to read and write stories, loves school, and loves making friends. Now, let me tell you how we’re different. I didn’t like animals when I was little. I’m not just talking about big dogs and snakes. I hated my 4-H animals, and was terrified of horses, cows, little purse puppies, all of them. This girl, though, she’s my Doolittle. She has such a way with animals. We find her sitting in the chicken coop singing to the birds, sitting on the fence talking to the pigs, or whispering secrets to the pony. Ponies are excellent secret-keepers.

The struggle we’ve been having lately is that she’s trying to make it a whole week without having to sit out of recess at all. The girl talks too much. I may have passed that one on, but getting in trouble never really phased me. E gets very disappointed in herself. She comes home sad, cries for a little bit, and then decides to start over tomorrow. I love seeing her bust through the door, “I had a great day! That’s day one!” We don’t usually make it much further, but she hasn’t stopped trying.

I’m thankful for my middle little. She is so full of light and adventure. I have such a soft spot for her.