She's the one who turned me into an outnumbered mom. She's the reason I cried inconsolably at the end of my maternity leave because for the first time I just didn't want to go back. She's the one who stayed home with me while the big brother and sister were at school after I lost my job and schooled me on the ins-and-outs of being a stay-at-home mom. She was the first child to climb out of her crib before the age of one. She was the reason I stood post at her door for hours at a time trying to get her to fall asleep for a nap (because, by golly, I was going to win). She was the first child to have stitches. She was the first child to have stitches again.
She's the child who nearly cut her finger off trying to open her own toys on Christmas day, left a trail of blood across the entire house, and attempted to stop the bleeding with a band-aid in her bathroom. She's the child who threw up in the sink in the middle of the night and tried to clean it up herself because she didn't want to bother Mommy while I was sleeping.
She's the girl who puts on a dress, then goes and rolls in mud. She would never brush her hair if we didn't make her, and yet still manages a still-fashionable, wild and crazy Farrah Fawcett look. She will not go to sleep without at least two hugs from every member of the family and a seriously sloppy kiss on the lips. She always remembers to say her prayers at night and before every meal. She takes good care of her toys. And she loves her sisters and brothers with every fiber of her being.
She gets up first in the mornings and snuggles with me in my bed. Sometimes she falls back to sleep, but usually she goes and wakes up a baby or two to deliver to me. She is an independent woman, despising asking for help. She's good with numbers. She's an eager learner, always ready with a million questions, even though the questions themselves don't always make a lot of sense to anyone except for her. She's a great listener. And she has a fantastic memory.
She plays soccer with gusto, and when she's not contemplating strategy (you can practically see the wheels turning), she's literally bouncing up and down with enthusiasm. She does all sorts of daring tricks on the backyard swings and in the pool. She loves to give gifts. She loves to eat sandwiches. Her favorite color is orange (today at least). She has an imagination that's out of this world. She gets embarrassed when people laugh at the hilarious things she says. But she's got plenty more where that came from.
And she's awesome.
The other day, out of the blue, Leah looked at me and said, "God knew we needed a Leah."
Indeed, precious girl, and God knew we needed a Sarah too.
Happy Seventh Birthday, Sweetest Girl!