My Dearest Alexa,
I love you so much! It is hard to believe you are already four years old.
One of my favorite things that you do is repeat back to Dad and I the question you've heard us ask you so many times... and you always seem to ask it when we need to be reminded the most. You ask "What do I think about you?" with your adorable grin.
Dad and I do think you are beautiful--the real, lasting kind on the inside as well as beautiful on the outside.
Remember that the more you are like Jesus--the more beautiful you are.
You are such a good teacher, Alexa. Haylee loves to do and say the exact same things as you. You have all kinds of natural leadership qualities that I can see already! You impress me everyday with how quickly you memorize verses. Haylee likes to join in, too, because she thinks the motions you do with the words are amazing and fun.
I love your smile. It makes me so happy! I love to tickle you and make you giggle yourself silly. You are a wonderful dancer, and singer, and it's okay that the only volumes you know are loud, extra loud, or asleep.
You are my sweetheart.
I think it's hilarious and adorable(when it doesn't hurt) how you always want to hair-snuggle at nap time and bed time-- or really anytime you're tired. I will always be glad to be your snuggle buddy!
You are so good at giving sincere compliments and saying encouraging words to everyone we meet. You teach me a lot about how to treat people, even if it's only during a few passing moments together.
You make me think a lot about love, and the many ways you've got it right, and I want to write this down so we don't forget it.
The other day when we were at the park a little girl we had never seen before came to play. Her Grandmom told me she had just turned five, the first girl in family of several generations just swarming with boys. Her Grandmom said she'd be so glad to have little girls to play with for a bit. You didn't even know her name, or age, or anything about her before smiling at her and including her in your game like you two were the best of friends.
You two laughed, and talked, and adjusted rules and preferences and had a great time.
When it was time to go home you turned just as we reached the car and shouted with all your four-year-old-might "I love you!".
She didn't hesitate a moment before yelling it right back to you.
And this is what you know now that I don't want to you to forget: You absolutely can love someone without knowing them very well, or for very long.
You can love someone you've never met at all.
Because real love is a choice-- a series of choices-- and not just a feeling.
Real love is lived out in spite of your feelings. To love someone is to serve them for their good, for their best. This will bring God glory, and the deepest, lasting joy and happiness to you.
Feelings change. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes very quickly. Feelings can be so much fun--and as delicate as a bubble. Feelings are temporary.
Love never ends. And real Love does not change. Ever.
I'll love you, Alexa, for my whole life and all through eternity.
Photos taken by an amazing friend, Victor.