I remember the day, at only 5 months old, you were sitting on the kitchen counter in your bouncy seat and forming the word “Mama!” with your determined little face. Nobody believed me when I later bragged about this but you and I knew and that was all that mattered.
You became the little girl who always wanted to help Mommy. You took my chicken-scrawled grocery lists and carefully and lovingly re-wrote them before heading out to Hy-Vee on a quest for Gogurt and bagels.
You were also fond of declarative statements. Many of them notable. As a toddler, when your Daddy would walk in from work and ask you how your day had been, you usually responded, “I didn’t have a day!” with great conviction. With Mom, your declarations were often about really important things you needed to do, like the day you came to me and said, “I want to dance!”. Thus began one of many journeys led by your indomitable spirit.
You were always very quick to pick up on stress or tension in the house and, in your own loving way, offered help. At only age 9, when Mom and Dad were very burdened with the weight of selling our dream house and picking up roots to the unknown, you quietly and efficiently followed the “Staging Lady” from room to room in our beautiful house and took careful notes about the work to be done. That’s who you are, Dear Girl, the one who can take up the sword and fight for your loved ones when they need it most and without expecting anything in return. This past Easter, when your teenaged brother was grieving terribly the death of a friend, you lightened everybody’s load with your surprise visit from college. You matter-of-factly parked your car in the driveway and walked up to me, I’ll never forget how I was planting begonias to mark and remember Mario’s friend. Your presence is a fortress to those in need, My Dear. You marched right into the house and just quietly began doing normal things but in a way your family knew you were there to support us in our time of need.
And most recently, Sweet Girl, you gave your Momma a weighted blanket for Christmas. I am not surprised you were the one who listened to me and addressed this need so lovingly. You know I am not bold like you are yet this does not disappoint or frighten you and how I love you for it.
Now you are on the brink of adulthood and life is showing your Dad and me you are prepared. I will spend the rest of my days in gratitude for the wonder that is you, my precious Isabella Bernadette. Your Grandpa summed you up correctly at a very young age and it is to our complete delight watching his prediction unfold. He said, “That little girl is going to call the shots every step of the way.” And you have and we hope you always will. I love you, Daughter.