The girl in the pink Tutu

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

She looked pretty in pink. A pink tutu to be more exact.

She was running around the yard as we arrived, pointing to the balloons anchored to the ground by pine cones that had been painted pink.

I imagined her father’s comments when she was born about how he had never seen so much pink in his life. I grinned and told him that he hadn’t seen anything yet.

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Laura Beall Faulk, my first granddaughter and second grandchild, is 1 year old. We celebrated that big occasion at her home Saturday. She is like her mother and loves a party.

To help celebrate the occasion she invited aunts, uncles, cousins, her four grandparents, and her five living great-grandparents. She’ll probably never appreciate how lucky she is to be surrounded by that much living family history.

In just her first year, you can see her personality taking shape. Her eyes squint when she smiles, which is often. She started walking at 10 months and hasn’t stopped since. She loves all kinds of foods, including cupcakes and goldfish. She has already had a lot of experience in restaurants, including her favorite: Hardee’s.

She looked exactly like her father when she was born, but seems to have a bit of both branches of her family tree as she has aged. She has her mother’s fine hair that will only hold a bow for a few minutes. Most importantly, she is developing a look that is distinctively hers. You can’t miss it with the sparkling eyes and mischievous grin.

She chases after her older cousin, Henry, in a way that should cause her parents concern for the future. On the other hand, Henry staunchly declares that he is a “boy” when Laura is around, probably in the hopes that such an assertion will prevent him from ever having to wear one of those tutus.

I am sure my daughters wore a tutu along the way, but I can’t quite pin down that memory. However, Laura wore her tutu with confidence and ease, not concerned that she had on pink sneakers rather than ballerina shoes. I hope this means that the whole world will be her stage and that she will define her world rather than letting it define her.

She is developing political skills as she seems to spend equal time playing with her two sets of grandparents. Mary Lou is insistent that Laura seems to go to her more often than me, but I’ll continue to work on that over time.

She loves Compass Lake and has no fear of the water. She loves the feel of the grass between her toes and builds amazing sand castles for a person her age. The fence and the water define her world there and she explores it to the fullest.

There isn’t much I could wish for Laura at this point in her life that she doesn’t already have. She has two wonderful, devoted parents who understand their role in her future. She is healthy and full of life.

What I will wish and pray for is that she continues to experience the many wonderful joys of a carefree childhood. I hope that she develops a spiritual life that will sustain her during her life’s journey.

I will pray that she has just a piece of all those that went before her; the best of us all. In doing so, she will have the foundation to make her own way.

I will pray for her own independence in life, while at the same time hoping that she shares and depends on others just as we all do at points in our lives.

I hope she gets to travel and to experience the world, realizing that home is a special place where you are always welcome.

I want her to read books that expand her mind. I want her to be athletic to develop her body. I want her to see things that are different and embrace all that is new in her young world.

I want her to seek an education, not because it makes her better than anyone else, but because it helps her be the best that she can be.

I will pray for her to be kind and compassionate. I will wish for her to have five great friends. I will dream, along with her, of meeting her soul mate in the future and the sharing of their lives together.

Laura Beall Faulk. She is already part of my dream and the answer to my own prayers. She is a gift from God to all that know and love her.

Happy Birthday, Laura.

Love, Granddaddy.