|taste testing the National Mall|
It's been a while since I've written you. It's important to me to express you to in written words just how much you fill my heart so if you're ever in doubt years down the road, or you need an extra breeze in your sail, you can find certainty and gentle wind here.
I've looked at you often in the last few days bursting with emotion. I feel the world for you.
I have felt sad that you're not surrounded—nearly bombarded—with so, so many faces who love you, who play with you, who sing to you, who toss you up in the air just to hear your laughter. May you never forget that you are part of a strong family made up of many different parts woven tight to keep you safe and loved.
I have felt excited that you have so much in front of you. You've been around the world and back, and now we're on the other side of the continent you were born on making yet another new home. Your eyes are so wide. You learned the words "bus" and "ambulance" within days of arriving. We've already visited the zoo and a museum. You have made new friends and identified every hat-wearing person on the street with an excited, "HAT!" You're going to grow so much here. And what a great place to grow.
I have felt sorry for you. Always moving. Never settling down. I know just how worn out I get by all of it. I think it must take a toll on you too.
I have felt responsible for you. Not that I don't feel this way always, but I tend to feel an extra weight when we're far away from the village that raised me. I have to sing you all the songs, and read you all the books, and teach you all the things a toddler needs to know—like colors and shapes and animal sounds and when to be quiet and when to run fast. I have to dress you and arm you against the mosquitoes. I have to make sure you're fed and bathed and happy and feel safe. I'm your mama. It's my job, and I love it. It's just my job. (And your dad's). But sometimes the thought that the many hands that helped so much when we were in Utah are too far to reach out here makes me scared.
Above all, I have felt gratitude for you. You wake me each morning, punctuating the ends of all your words with a silly "sth" sound (why do you do this, by the way?). You love me and help me feel place. Not to mention that you truly are the best ambassador your dad and I have. We met dozens of people on Sunday because you wanted to make sure we knew they were wearing a "TIE!" or because they had a little one of their own. You make people laugh and smile. You were blessed once that your light-hearted personality would uplift others. I think you uplift others every day, especially your parents.
What would life be like without you, my Ada Lou?
I love you true.