Your kindness, generosity, patience, willingness to love and to forgive, your powerful brain, uproarious sense of humor, sharp and quick wit, and your overall awesomeness is an example I myself try to live up to every day.
It is Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1995. I'm taking a break from the cooking to go outside and sit on the front stoop. It's a glorious day: Warm, late afternoon sun basks the house in light. My youngest daughter Lily is two and a half.
I can't be present for every decision she'll make, now or later, to offer advice for her to follow or ignore; she needs to develop her ability take stock of whatever situation and moment she's in and then make good choices.
You launder all of your clothes together -- you've long stopped separating colors. You find in the pockets as many hair ties, hair clips, and Rainbow Loom rubber bands as a lucky 49er on a good day prospecting for gold.
I sometimes forget that this innocent little girl who tries my patience (often, but certainly not always) is going to eventually grow into a woman. I forget how important it is for her to love her dad.