In many ways, my girls have been a saving grace for me in that they opened my eyes and my heart to not only finally see God, but experience Him and know Him. And as they grow up, I see the elements of love and grace working extensively. Whereas Rylee has always been creative, content, sweet and friendly with a small hint of shyness, Charlee June is her total opposite. While Charlee June is certainly sweet and friendly, she's also very much filled with spunk. She's strong willed. She lights up a room when she walks in it. She marches to the beat of her own drum and almost demands that you get in step with her rhythm.
As a father, I wasn't sure how I would love another child the way I loved Rylee. I've since learned that as a parent, you don't really love your children the same, but you love them as much as the other. My girls are pretty different and I couldn't love them more for all of their differences and the similarities too.
I started out calling Charlee June my June Bug, and I still do from time to time. However, over her first 24 months, she became Charlee Girl. I don't really know where that originated from. I've always called Rylee my baby girl. Maybe Charlee Girl is just another way for me to tell Charlee that she too is Daddy's baby girl.
While Rylee was a Daddy's girl from the day she was born it seemed, Charlee June was a Mama's Girl from about the same time. But as she's gotten older, I've noticed her wanting more and more of my attention. I love it when I come home and she runs through the house screaming, "Dadd-eeee! Dadd-eeee!" When I pick her up, she turns her little head sideways and snuggles into my neck and squeezes me. I know that soon after, she's going to lift her head up and look me in the eyes and start talking. I wish I knew what she was saying, and I will soon enough. She'll give me that mischievous grin knowing that I'll start tickling her or kissing her. Then that infectious laugh will come rolling out that makes it impossible not to laugh back with her.
She loves to take my hands now as well and walk sideways up my chest. She's a daredevil, and she has the utmost trust in me as her Daddy. Her favorite thing to do is to stand on my shoulders and throw herself backwards. She knows that I'll catch her every time. For her, there are no doubts that if she falls backwards that Daddy will catch her. I pray she always feels that safety in me and with me. I pray she always knows that she can chase the wind and reach for the stars and should she fall, my hands will be there to catch her and love her no matter what.
Charlee Girl, you've brought so much joy to our family. I couldn't imagine loving you any more than I do, but day after day you have a way of making me fall more and more in love with you. My life wouldn't be complete without you. You mean the world to your Sissy too. Who knew I'd end up with my own version of Frozen playing out in my home. (Let's keep the ice powers and closed doors to a minimum through the years if we can.) I need you to know that there will never be a day in your life that you'll be unloved or unwanted. You're one of the greatest gifts I've ever received in this life along with your sister. Of all the titles I have accumulated through the years, none compare to that of being your Daddy.
I love you Charlee June. You'll always and forever be Daddy's Charlee Girl. Happy 2nd Birthday baby.