(Thanks Sheye, for the inspiration…)
Those kissable little cheeks. They got kissed several times a day.
How she’d call her brothers “the guys” or sometimes, “my guys”.
The way her hair curled after a bath.
Reading the same book at bedtime, night after night after night, and the way she’d correct me if I got a word wrong or skipped anything.
Watching Jenna and her daddy greet each other when he came home from work. There’s just something about a little girl enveloped in her daddy’s bear hug…
The way Jenna’s eyes would grow big when her daddy made the shopping cart go fast.
Jenna and Tom.
Jenna’s bossy tone of voice when she put her brothers in their place. It was something to behold!
Watching Jenna and her best friend Joseph chase each other at church. Jenna often seemed to be in front, and would run with her head turned to see where Joseph was. How she managed to avoid bumping into things, I don’t know.
Hiding under the bedcovers with Jenna until her brothers or her daddy walked into the room, and then shouting ‘boo!’ at them.
We’d try on clothes every now and then. Jenna would admire her dress in front of the mirror, and then proceed downstairs to show off to her brothers. She’d make a slow, stately entrance, and then sit down in front of them and fluff her dress out, waiting to be noticed.
When Jenna would decide to turn on the charm at the grocery store, and greet everyone in sight.
Jenna’s brothers would indulge her desire to play on the wii by handing her a remote that wasn’t plugged in. She’d press buttons happily, thinking she was really participating in the game.
Surfing the internet with a sleeping muffin across my lap.
Drinking in the beauty and sweetness of Jenna snuggling with her oldest brother, fast asleep.
Having Skype conversations with the family overseas. I was always so proud to show Jenna off. 🙂
Playing hide and seek with Jenna. She’d always return to the same spot to hide. 🙂
Watching her line up her plastic animals along the edge of the bath tub, or along the grout lines on the tile floor.
Laying on the trampoline and watching the aeroplane trace ‘lions’ across the blue sky. Hubby says he and Jenna would count the ‘beards’ (Spanish moss) on the trees whenever they were out on the trampoline together.
Jenna and her pink bike. She was fearless on that thing!
That she was everything girlie.
Watching Jenna clean. She was a cutesie-pie cleaner! She loved wiping my mirrors, or wiping dirty spots on the floor with her spray cleaner and her little cloth.
Jenna and I scooting down the stairs on our hineys, one by one, bumpity-bump, taking that last step with a big jump! I loved the way she’d smile up at me when we did silly things like this together. That special look is one of the things I treasure the most.
Singing the “hop little bunny song”, Jenna was a very enthusiastic and cute little hopper.
Extra-cuddly days when she wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to be held.
When Jenna would take my picture with those toy princess cameras at the Walmart checkout, telling me how beautiful I was.
Shopping for second hand girlie outfits at half-price on Wednesdays. ( She’d go through the racks as enthusiastically as I did.) Scouring Ebay for bargain designer clothes. Building up a stash of girlie clothes for the muffiny to grow into. Pretty pink items in my laundry basket.
Hearing her say: “You’re my best mama”.
Watching the muffiny paint – in the buff.
Seeing Jenna and Joseph share a ‘hug and kiss’.
Having a little sleepy Jenna-hand trail across my back in the middle of the night to feel if I was still next to her, and then grow limp as she fell back to sleep.
Playing drums on whatever surface we could find – usually it was pots and pans, the floor, and the kitchen cabinets – all at the same time.
Jenna was irresistably drawn to anything she could balance on. The stone edges of flower beds, parking lots, the wooden beams at the playground. Watching her balance along these was usually fun, yet sometimes exasperating (when I was in a hurry).
When she would cheerfully inform me that she was going to sleep with her brothers, give me a hug and kiss goodnight, and crawl into their bed, right in the middle between them. I’d peek into their room and find three (sometimes four, when they were smaller and still fit into one bed) smiling faces peeping out from underneath the blanket, like little peas in a pod. Jenna had no intention of going to sleep with her brothers, of course. She simply wanted an extra snuggle with them sometimes.
When I was still nursing her, but trying to wean her, we made a rule that she could only nurse after dark. She’d come to me and ask: “Is it dark yet?” We’d go to inspect the sky through our dormer window, and she’d nearly jump out of her skin with excitement when she saw a dark sky. LOL!
How she’d release a contented sigh, and say: “Mom, it’s a beautiful day…” when she wanted to make conversation but didn’t quite know what to say.
Her beauty. I know I am a biased mommy, but to me Jenna was The Most Gorgeous Little Girl In The Whole Wide World…ever. I could sometimes just stare at her and drink her in.
The times I told her how delicious she was, asking if I can have just a little taste. At first she took me literally and refused. Later, she knew better but still pretended that it horrified her. (But mom, I’m not food! … with a big smile on her face…) In her last months with us she’d offer her arm for a nibble and ever so gently nibble me back, telling me I was delicious too.
Jenna tugging on my cheek, my nose, my chin, the skin on my neck, and laughing at the funny sounds I made with each little tug. (I didn’t particularly like this game but I indulged her – thankfully it never lasted long. 🙂 )
Seeing that sweet maternal tilt of her head as she snuggled a soft toy, or a live kitten under her chin.
Walking Morsel, the neighbor’s dog. Jenna LOVED everything about it.
Watching Jenna beg my pastor (who is a real softie) for dum dum pops. She made it hard for anyone to say no.
Sniffing candles at Walmart. She thought they all smelled “like jelly beans.”
Her demanding goodbyes (she wanted her snacks, prepared by me, and served just so, followed by a hug and kiss, before I could leave) and her exuberant greetings when hubby and I arrived home from a night out. (Mommeee, Daddeeee, you’re baaaaack!)
Jenna-hugs, Jenna-cuddles, Jenna-smells, Jenna-talk, Jenna-giggles, everything Jenna…
I love that she still lives. That I can smile into her eyes on her pictures and almost feel her smiling back. I love that sense I get sometimes, when I am doing well and know that I have pleased Jesus, that Jenna approves and cheers me on. I often feel like she is my biggest cheer-leader. I know her daddy feels the same way.