I have two stories I want to document about Annie. The first occurred while in Santa Cruz. She was building a sand castle with her dad, when a huge wave came through and wiped out people and sandcastles on the shore. The wave was so big it left everything in disarray. Without a half-second thought, Annie ran far to her right, grabbed multiple sand toys that belonged to a young boy and his mom (who were playing to her far left) and then ran the toys back to the little boy. She dropped them at the mom's feet and lightning-fast returned to her dad to continue building. She didn't look at anyone or talk to anyone. She didn't hesitate. She acted without a thought, and returned to her post.
The second story occurred days ago while she and a friend were playing at a nearby park. Annie and her friend were playing when another little girl their age began following them around. Annie was holding a bag of pirate's booty - a gift from her friend. She took out a piece of popcorn and handed it to the girl standing by. When the girl took it from Annie she stood and watched her for awhile.
I happened to be sitting nearby and first proudly praised Annie for sharing with this little girl. I then tried to guide her on what to do next: "Annie say, 'What is your name?' then say, "My name is Annie.'" I then said, "Now ask, 'Would you like to play with us?'" Annie asked and the girl nodded.
I never would have caught these moments had I not been sitting and watching. My heart burst with love and happiness in both scenarios. Each time I felt I couldn't praise her enough for doing what she can - in her small 3-year old sphere - to love the people by her side. She notices them, watches them, and then wants to include them. It makes me want to do more in my small 31-year old sphere to care for those within my reach.
This day at the park was beautiful in every sense of the word. It was sunny, it was warm, it was gorgeous; we chatted, we ate, we laughed, we played. I have fallen back in love with Seattle.