There’s a running joke between my husband and I. Our little Leah attends preschool on our ministry campus two mornings a week and her teacher usually fills out a “What I did today” sheet to let us know what happened in class. Without fail, every single time, hers reads:
Leah ate snack and played by herself.
That phrase has become our sweet catch phrase for our sweet girl. Maybe partly because she’s the third kid, maybe partly because she’s an observer, learner, and watcher. Either way, Leah tends to blend right into any situation and quietly goes about her own thing. It’s one of the things we love most about her because it’s just so her. Whenever my husband will ask me what the kids did today, or if I’ll text him while he’s out on a Daddy & Kids adventure, we always answer with what the other kids did and then add, “Leah at snack and played by herself.” It brings a smile to our faces and reminds us of how much we love our littlest girl.
Because Leah does eat snack and play by herself so much (haha!) it’s not often that I have time to offer her my full, undivided attention for long periods of time. When we took a trip to the local science museum this week, I realized it was a perfect opportunity to soak in every second of Leah’s quiet way of doing life. We joined up with some cousins and their parents and the older kids quickly paired off with each other, leaving me to enjoy Leah-Lou all to myself.
She found her way through each exhibit, quietly observing what all the other kids were doing and then carefully choosing how she would interact. That red shopping cart? It did not leave her side once she discovered it. Racing up and down the “Kid City” walkways, she would put her head down and stomp along with all her might, pausing only to poach fake vegetables and fruit from other unattended carts (and their corresponding unassuming kids). Her favorite finds were two heads of cauliflower and a banana.
She loved building a carbon atom and also was fascinated with some sort of electricity device (science isn’t really my thing). After watching a few older kids and adults push buttons and turn levers, she confidently slipped between them, hoisted herself onto her toes, and did exactly what she saw everyone else do to make the sparks travel up the length of the plastic tubing and into the top of the display.
For most of the morning I just watched her be Leah – this tiny person who has fit so perfectly into our family. The little one that has healed so much of my heart gave me another moment of joy by loving someone just the way they are.