Today our Divine Miss M turns 7! Oh how we adore this girl: her zest for life, her sense of humour, her deep sense of empathy; and the list goes on…
She is without doubt one of the happiest people I have ever met. Sure, she gets annoyed and even mad sometimes (mostly at her siblings or when we put the kibosh on one of her crazy ideas), but it passes quickly, like a rain storm in Malaysia. And then the sun bursts out again.
Someone once said to me in all sincerity, “She is the most beautiful person I have ever met.” She is also a natural athlete and scary strong (there’s a lot of muscle in that tiny body, and she can – and does – lift people way taller and heavier than she is).
Balancing out her beauty and strength is her eccentricity. She sees the world in her own special, slightly off-kilter way. For example, when we first arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL), she carried around her small automatic camera everywhere we went. What was she taking pictures of, you might wonder? As it turns out, butts. Yes, butts. My butt, Karl’s butt, Cate’s butt, Cen’s butt, strangers’ butts. All butts. (Don’t worry – we’ll spare you from those images!)
Looking back, her subject choice kind of makes sense as we spent a lot of time walking the crowded streets of KL and that was probably her vantage point most of the time! There haven’t been any butt shots since, although yesterday I found a series of feet shots (all her own) on her camera. She also likes to take a lot of self portraits. Odd ones. (I should mention that she doesn’t do this to get a laugh or shock people. It’s just for her own amusement.)
This girl is also a natural problem solver. I tend to think this trait was influenced by her time in an orphanage, where getting attention (or getting anything, for that matter) required equal doses of creativity and perseverance. While the origins may be sad, I do believe that this skill, perhaps more than any other, will serve her well in life. Faced with a problem big or small, she is not daunted. You can see in her eyes her determination to find a solution. More times than not, she does.
When we were at an outdoor adventure park earlier this month, one of the activities involved pulling a large, heavy inner tube up a very steep (and slippery) hill using a pull rope (the reward being that you got to slide down the hill afterwards). On the kids’ second round, I noticed Meskie had stopped part way up the hill. At first I wasn’t sure what she was doing. Then I saw she was trying to figure out a way to tie the rope around her waist so she didn’t have to drag the heavy weight with her hand. Only Meskie.
One of the things that bonds the two of us together is loss. We both lost our mothers when we were children (“our first mommies” as she says). Because she was so very young, she hasn’t consciously absorbed the full depth of emotions connected to that loss yet, but she does seems to understand my sorrow in a way that is hard to explain. It’s pretty special; she’s pretty special. And I’m so very grateful I get to be her second mommy on this journey of life.
Happy Birthday to you Miss M. We love you!