Today we retired these two pairs of hardworking shoes to the “too small” bin. It was a sad moment–saying goodbye to good friends, marking one more step forward in life. These were the faithful, much-used “learning to walk” shoes. Left is a kind gift from Grandma Mae, right a fun and sweet surprise from Susannah Park. Both were much-loved by Alaythia the Shoe Lover.
But, time goes on. The tottering, unsteady steps have given way to confidently running. The silly, early toddler days have given way to a confident little girl, full of opinions, preferences, interests, and delight in the world she can explore “on her own”.
Here she is taking delight in the penguins at the Woodland Park Zoo [if you’re reading this in email, make sure to click the below image, it’s a video… as is one further down]:
And not only is Alaythia full of delight in animals, but she has a loyal dedication to her dear ones. Today, she woke up from her nap, shook her head, rubbed her eyes, thought for a second, then without further ado, this conversation transpired:
Alyssa: He’s here.
Alyssa: He’s at his house.
Alyssa: She’s at her house, with Ian. [it should be noted here that Lizzie is the Haggard family cat…]
Alaythia: Meow? [this being her term for my parents’ cat who seems to do little but meow, loudly, and so she has aptly named him]
Alyssa: He’s at his house too.
Alaythia: Babu? [her word for my dad, Grandpa Greg Smith. often he’s first or second on the check-in-on-people list, but today came below the felines]
Alyssa: He’s at his house with The Meow.
Alaythia: Bibi? [this being Grandma Smith]
Alyssa: She’s at her house with Babu.
Satisfied, Alaythia got up at this point, content in knowing where everyone was. Her devotion to her little friend Ian is quite darling–she is still known to make his life difficult at times, but for the most part, she thinks he’s the funniest, funnest, best companion in all the world.
Recently, Ian was sick and we were babysitting him, and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with Kabyn and I. We were worried he was going to cry the evening away, but Alaythia played with him, even fed him pieces of her food. Which he happily ate and was much comforted by–which he was NOT when I tried to do the same a little earlier.
Similarly, when Alaythia wasn’t feeling well the other day and Elisabeth [Ian’s mom, for anyone not familiar with them] was changing her diaper, Ian came up in his always-friendly, sweet fashion, and began patting Alaythia’s face and petting her hair. Elisabeth told him to give her some space, and we both got a little nervous Alaythia might get upset with the unsolicited close contact to her face while she was not upright. Not so. She smiled and laughed.
Here’s a little bit of Ian-Alaythia history for you all to enjoy:
Now lest the pictures lead you to think Ian’s the more extroverted, excitable one, you have to watch them play to get a complete picture of how things often go down.
Signing off on updates on the little lady.