At the moment: Genevieve

My dear, sweet Genevieve. It is nearly impossible for me to catch her real faces when I pull out the camera so I am so grateful for talented photographers who have a way with children and can encourage them to be themselves in spite of a little black box rapidly clicking in front of them. Thank you for these pictures Nickell. You so perfectly captured her, every bit of her.

Genevieve is almost four. She will get her yearly post when that day comes, but for now I wish to write about this little girl's heart. She has a heart as big as an ocean. Although she acts shy at first, she is quick to love and accept everyone. She is our peacemaker. She can calm the raging storms of hormones that so frequently occur inside our brick home. She loves all of her sisters and is happy to stop whatever she is doing to make them feel better if they are angry or sad.

She and Elle are best friends. Whenever I can't find one of them, I start calling for the other one, and they both come running. They love to play pretend. They act like little kitties and dogs all the time. And they love to be mischievous. I constantly find them playing with water, even though they know my rules about water. Both of them will point at the other person when they are caught, but when threatened with time out, Genevieve will often take the blame. When Elle is asleep or watching Mickey, Genevieve often looks to her older sister for entertainment. She and Mya build caves around their bunkbed and sit inside the caves giggling as they make different puppet shadows.

Because Genevieve's heart is so big and kind, it gets easily broken when something goes wrong. She has a hard time accepting the fault when she does something wrong. She quickly bows her head and sobs. It has been one of the hardest parts of parenting her because I know she needs discipline from time to time, but I hate to make her cry. Her cry is real, and it makes me ache. She doesn't like to be left out. The other day I found her with tears in her eyes because Mya was busy playing with a neighborhood friend and had told her to go play with Elle. She so badly wants to be big but loves being little too.

I love this girl so much. In many ways, she is the calm to my storm. Sometimes she starts the storm, and oh those days are always hard, but for the most part, she loves me unconditionally. She hugs my neck so tight every time she can and she whispers, "I sure do wuv you mama. I wuv you so much. As much as all the fishies in the ocean." I love the way her eyes dance when she sings songs and tells stories. I love the way her lips curl up when she knows she is about to get a reward. And I love the way her cheeks squish against mine every time she creeps in my bed and cuddles up next to me.

She really is a little sunbeam--a ray of light in every way.

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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