The sweetest and most docile baby I’ve ever known, I had dubbed her my “cricket”, my Beth March, my pet. But the above picture is one of my most cherished because that tiny piece of clover in her mouth, right underneath those huge, shining, innocent eyes, represents a major shift in our life, one that we are still dealing with and feeling the aftershocks from these many, many months later…
That was the day that the real Betsie began to emerge, and the clover I dug out of her mouth after this picture was taken was the first of countless – and I do mean countless – items I retrieved from her grasp, whether from her teeth, or her tightly-clenched fist. And that’s when I wasn’t retrieving Betsie herself from the back row of the church van, from the kitchen counter, from the middle of the table, from the church’s soundbooth, from toilet stalls, and, most notably, from the window display at Pottery Barn Kids…
She has become a babbling, singing, nonsensical lightning bolt that streaks past me these days, usually inexplicably naked, and more often that not, I have no idea what to do with her.
You know why?
No matter what kind of mischief she is in, she still looks at me with the same expression that she is wearing in that picture. Naive. Mostly innocent with a hint of impishness. Full of love and joy and wonder…
She may be a lightning bolt, but she is also a ray of sunshine, constantly bringing light and laughter to our household.
As far as birthdays go, she doesn’t really get it, and I shared the following post on my personal facebook page last week:
Rebekah and Betsie are almost exactly 2 years apart (June 8th and May 30th), and so I can’t help but compare them sometimes. By this age, Rebekah was speaking full paragraphs and singing complete hymns, and I felt like we could communicate perfectly. On the other hand, here’s the conversation I had with Betsie today:
Me: Did you know your birthday is next week, Betsie?
Betsie: (blank stare, blink, blink)
Me: You’re going to be TWO!
Me: Yes, you’re going to be two!
Betsie, shaking her head: No.
Me: (blank stare, blink, blink).
None of us ever really know what she is thinking, but as far as we can tell, she is in no way grasping that this grand day of May 30th belongs to her. But I know, and I will be spending the day drinking in the blessing and the quirkiness of my Betsie Fair, counting our memories together and praying for many, many more. Even as I follow along behind her, trying to keep her alive and out of the dishwasher…
Happy Birthday, Pinky!
p.s. You can stop eating clover now. Seriously.
Here are some of my favorite Betsie stories from the archives. And I promise to write more about her in the weeks to come!
I Will Trust in Thee (Betsie’s birth story)
The Birthday Girls (because today is ANOTHER precious girl’s birthday, too! Love you, Abba!)
A Storybook Halloween (because I still can’t get enough of Granny)