Dear Baby Girl, So far you've had a pretty dynamite summer. Not just because of the places you've traveled and the vistas you've seen, which include a trip to the greatest amusement park on earth where you survived a huge scary thunderstorm, but also because of the fears you've overcome.


Just in the last month, you've shed your training wheels and you confidently ride your bike, like you are the Gywneth Paltrow of biking. Talk show hosts are probably getting ready to call and ask you to come sit on their couch and relate the story of your harrowing defeat of training wheels.


You've also become quite the mermaid in the pool. Last year at this time, you were loathe to get your face wet in a body of water, which may or may not have included the bathtub. Now, you barely come up for air. This is awesome. Except for when we need to--tell--you--some--BABY GIRL, YOU AREN'T AMPHIBIOUS.

I am glad that you are realizing what the second book of Timothy tells us: that we are not given a spirit of fear. Rather, we are given a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. There are so many wonderful things to experience in this life, and it is such a gift to be a girl, it really is, and I am glad you are discovering these things and letting me rediscover them right along with you.


Tonight we were watching "Soul Surfer" and you were very brave through the shark scene and the subsequent blood scenes. You had started watching the movie and were adamant that you were going to visit your uncle Joe in California and take a surf lesson. Mid-way through the movie, you had sworn off surfing to infinity.

Then there was a scene where Soul Surfer goes to Thailand for a mission trip to help the people recover post tsunami. You remembered that a tsunami was a "giant tidal wave." You asked if you could go to Thailand someday and I said, Sure. So you said you were going to go pick out your outfit for Thailand. Which seemed not so mission-minded to me, but okay.

When you came back into the room, you informed me that you had your outfit ready and wanted to go help the children whose city had gotten covered by the salami. In Tykes Land.


I tried super hard to keep a straight face.

You asked if you could go to Thailand on Wednesday.

I said, No.

But I was really proud of you, my little Soul Swimmer Biker Missionary Girl. You are quite the intrepid.



P.S. Oh yeah. And this happened. I don't know how I feel about it yet. The important thing is that you felt dandy about it.