Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Girly Girl...?

The similarities between Gabriella and I never cease to amaze me. In every way, with the exception of her tan skin, she is like a mini me! She has a similar personality, demeanor, preferences, expressions, features, etc. We are similar even down to quirky details such as the fact that when I was a child I used to pick at the center of my top lip; Gabriella has started doing this recently but, of course, never knew that I used to do it! To me, she is proof that things don't happen by chance; there is clearly a plan designed by God. Discovering this "evidence" fascinates me. I am forever pondering, and being grateful for, God's plan that enabled the union between Gabriella and I. I certainly expect Gabriella to be her own person, but, I am constantly amazed that I had yet to discover any major differences...that is, until today!

It was a beautiful day today with spring-like weather. We took advantage of the day by spending it outside. Gabriella; our oldest dog, Riley; and I took a long nature walk in a local state park. We explored the woods, played near a stream, met lots of people and their dogs, and collected acorns ("pa-con"). After 2.5 hours of exploring, we got in the car to drive home and we passed a lake. I saw a rowboat launching so I stopped to show Gabriella. Of course, Gabriella wanted to walk down by the water and play for a bit. There was a man fishing, so Gabriella pretended she was fishing too by dangling a long branch in the water. Then, she noticed a small cleared area that directly abutted the water. I was purposely avoiding this area because it was all mud. I HATE mud and DESPISE getting dirty. I am very conscious, though, to not allow my hatred toward dirt (and all things messy) to hinder Gabriella's desire to explore. So, probably against my better judgement, I let her walk onto the mud. Then, Gabriella picked up two big handfuls of mud and, again, I didn't stop her. After all, I knew I could easily wash her hands and give her a bath. She then squatted down to dig in the mud. All I could think about was all of the dirt that was getting embedded underneath her fingernails! I reminded myself to relax and let her enjoy it. I did ask her, though, not to sit because the ground was muddy and I didn't want her pants to get wet (notice I said "wet" and not "dirty!"). She quickly forgot what I had asked her and one shin was planted in the mud. I reminded myself that it was okay and that she was having fun! Next thing I know, she was sitting in it and then, literally, rubbing handfuls of mud onto her BRAND NEW Stride Rite sneakers (my fault for taking her for a nature walk in nice, new sneakers)! At that point, I actually relaxed because she was already covered in mud and there was nothing else I had to "worry" about her dirtying! She then stood up with two handfuls of mud, looked at me, and lifted her hands up to the side of her face. I knew exactly what she was about to do and couldn't control myself from yelling, "NO!" She was quicker than me, though, and rubbed one handful of mud on the side of her FACE and the other handful of mud in her HAIR! Again, it was too late to be uptight so I burst into laughter and the man who was fishing was cracking up too. I then heard crunching coming from her mouth from the bit of dirt that managed its way INSIDE of her mouth. YUCK! At that point, I had had more dirt than I could handle, so we headed back to the car. She proceeded to SLITHER UP THE HILL, like a snake, on her belly, toward the car! NO LIE! I let her enjoy, though...heck, I figured it would help in cleaning up some of the mud! Before getting in the car, I stripped her down to her onesie and sanitized her hands. As soon as we got home, her clothes went directly into the washing machine and she went directly into the bathtub!

The point of this long story is that today I recognized one BIG difference between Gabriella and me - Gabriella apparently likes dirt and I, on the other hand, hate it and have always hated it, even as a child. If my memory serves me correctly, as a child I hated getting dirty and would burst into tears if I got dirt or spilled food on my clothing. Gabriella is very "girly", but apparently even girly girls like mud! Today, Gabriella helped me to lighten up and enjoy the moment. We had a great day, she brought me out of my "comfort zone," and we shared an afternoon that I will likely never forget!

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me but, even though they're not the best quality photos, my cell phone camera captured the messy event.

It all started with an innocent smile:
...then she was standing in the mud and only getting her hands dirty:
Notice her focused look as she admired the mud!:
...then she went to kneeling:
...and then sitting in the mud!:
...then proceeded to cover her sneakers in the mud!:
Proudly showing mommy the mud on her hands!:

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