Like most parents, we taught Mya to call us "mommy" and "daddy" or "mom" and "dad." Although she calls Tim "daddy" she will not call me "mommy." She only calls me "mama." Every time she says it I smile and think of times long past. You just don't hear that word very often anymore. She wasn't feeling well yesterday and said, "Mama, my belly fix it? It needs a bandaid." After I helped her for awhile, she turned, cocked her head and made her devilish smile and said, "I love you mama." And of course, I said, "I do too."

While Mya may be stubborn and hard to read sometimes, she really is something special. My mom once said, "I feel like she has an old spirit inside that little body." I believe that is true. She does more and grasps more than most 2 1/2 year olds I know. And I am not talking about knowing her letters or her numbers (although she knows them in order not by sight), I am talking about compassion and understanding. Mya can look at a person and genuinely care for them. She frequently asks people if they are okay or if they need a hug. She watches people and sees what some may not notice. We are alike in this way. We are alike in many ways. But this way in particular.

I listen to people define themselves as this or that, but I just want to be known as a person who cares about others. Respects them for who they are and for who they are not. I want to be known as a person who inspires people to be a little better and try a little harder. As I get older and have children of my own, I understand and recognize the little personality traits people inherently have from birth. I don't think I have taught Mya to be the way she is, well, not in actual words, but I do think she watches me. And she watches Tim. She watches everyone around her and absorbs it all. And boy, that little girl is learning how to be amazing.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley