Julianna Ruth

At age seven, she’s tall for her age, and so heartbreakingly beautiful that sometimes I just pause and stare at her for a while.  She’s got huge brown eyes, perfect skin, and hair that she’s adamant she won’t ever, ever get cut.

She’s above grade level in every single subject.  Except for music, oddly enough.  She’s at grade level when it comes to music.  She loves to read, and can read chapter books easily enough, but still loves picture books to read to herself.  She’s an artist, and a writer, and still loves her baby dolls and stuffed animals.

She requests that I don’t buy her anything else – she doesn’t have any more beds for any more babies.

She’s growing up, my baby.  She’s sassy and funny, and so incredibly conscientious, all the time.  She plays board games and card games with Marc, more than the other two combined.  She swaddles up the dog, and tucks him in at night (God help him when summer comes).

She’s still my baby.  She’s my buddy, my girl, and I’m so grateful that she’s only seven.

I enjoy her childhood more.  I worry a little bit less.  No, that’s not true.  I worry just as much – but it’s off-set by the knowledge that it’s all so fleeting.  Seven year old Jessie and seven year old Sam are long gone now, and I know how fast this next year will go by.  I know how fast last year went.

Last year was horrific.  It just was.  And it was horrible for Julie – because it was one/sixth of her life.  She lost her brother, for months.  She lost me, in a real sense, because so much of what I was doing was focused on Sam.  Part of the healing process, this year, for her, has been about her remembering and relearning that she matters too.  It’s too easy for my baby to put herself last, to think that her job is to make everything okay for everyone else.

Julianna Ruth – she’s my baby, my love.  Seven years ago today, I was so big and so sick and so sore, and so desperate to hold my baby.  She was worth it, and so much more.  I can’t imagine our family without her.

Happy birthday baby.  Mama loves you.

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