Dear Emmy,

Summer is here again and the warm sun mornings on the porch and flip flop afternoons are making Mama remember again to be thankful for the little, little things. Sweet peaches by the bowlful remind me of my Grandpa’s house and the orchard next door. The way we ran around his giant yard like we owned it and made homemade black raspberry ice cream on his porch. We poured salt into the ancient churn and watched it spin, Grandma pouring the sweet puree into the cream and it barely¬†swirled together before we helped ourselves. I always remember the levity of it-my memories perfection, filled with the laughing and the tired legs and skin tanned exhaustion of a good summer’s day spent with cousins.

And even though life has taken it’s turns since our days at his house, I still find new reasons for joy…

Like your dark tan legs, growing taller and faster taking great big steps up the school bus stairs. The way you hold my chin and say with such sincerity, “I love you so much” and then ask me for “ice cream cones with sprinkles please”. Your left arm swing that’s part of your swagger now and the way you still sleep flat on your belly, your dark curls across your cheeks. The way people smile when you ask “What’s your name?” with your little head tilted to the side and how you say you’re 10 when they ask your age.

The sticky salt air at the ocean where your siblings played and the way you let me hold you on the beach chair because your feet didn’t like the sand, your head tucked in my neck as we watched the waves go in and out, you warm on my chest. That you’re still little for a little while longer…these are the whispers of God to me in our chaotic world.

Emmy, I wish you all the great joys of childhood. I hope for silliness on summer afternoons and the “good tired” sleep that comes after days by the shore. I pray for barefoot belly laughs on summer grass at night and ornery adventures that grow your independence. I want you to live the rose colored memories too, black raspberry ice cream and all. And someday when you’re big, you’ll hold those memories close even though life has changed…but hopefully they will teach you to keep the little things near to you, collecting them one by one, thanking God for them as He speaks quietly into your life the hope of heaven yet to come.