There are days when I think to myself, “I would like to be more like Quinley.” It’s usually after you have, yet again, cheerfully shown initiative to serve a family member or patiently helped your younger brothers in some way or offered an uplifting word to me when I’m sad or shown sincere concern to someone hurting. While these are good things that most people do occasionally, for you they seem to come as naturally as breathing.
From toddlerhood, I noticed that you were uniquely aware of other people’s emotional experiences. As soon as you could talk, you commented on loneliness and sadness, even in strangers. This gift of empathy has only matured now that you are six years old. You step out of your comfort zone in order to alleviate the discomfort of others- like making cards for people who are sad or ill or offering to do extra chores around the house so that I don’t have to or picking up after younger siblings so they don’t get in trouble. At times I have to stop you from helping in order to give others a chance to serve. What an unusual problem for me to have!
I delight in the conversations we have together. You take such pains to be grown up in your word choice. You have asked if I could save all of our baby clothes so you can have them for your children. You plan to be a babysitter when you grow up so that moms can have some time to themselves or some help around the house. You ponder everything from the passing away of loved ones to marriage and motherhood to what meals you hope to prepare one day. But your youthfulness still shines through in the most adorable fashion- like when you mentioned that the kitten curled up next to you was “pearling” (instead of purring) or that your clothes and shoes are “outgrowing you.”
Your work ethic is also inspiring. Not only are you diligent with your daily chores and the extras you beg to do, you are equally faithful in your academics. This became apparent when I heard you practicing your sight words on your own time and saw you perfecting your handwriting just because you wanted to. Once I had introduced you to the basics of reading you taught yourself the rest and practiced until you had mastered it. You are equally faithful in memorizing Bible verses, our family songs and poems.
As soon as you woke up this morning you asked, “Am I six yet?” When I said yes, you looked a little wistful. I asked if you felt like you were six and you replied, “I still feel like I’m five” and I think that was comforting to you. I share your wistfulness; I treasure these little girl years with you and want them to last forever but it’s beautiful watching your life blossom. Since we can’t freeze time let’s dance today; let’s write letters and read and do all our favorite things- today and every day. And most of all, continue being just who you are.