It's no secret that Annie is a giant bundle of ... Annie.
Those who know her. Those who barely do. They see her wild-thing nature.
She was tough in the womb. Kicked constantly. Kept me nauseous through 23 weeks of pregnancy. Produced fearful and painful Braxton-Hick contractions starting at 6 months pregnant.
I both wanted and was terrified to have a girl.
Most of you know I call her our sour patch kid. She's sweet. She's salty.
I say "she's... a lot." A. Lot.
I name her as feral.
I call her spirited.
"There's no mystery to Annie." is often how I describe her.
"You always know where she stands."
"She demonstrates executive leadership skills" (aka, she's bossy.)
"She's physically confident" (she will try ANYTHING. Kamikaze-style)
She OWNS her completely incomprehensible and uncoordinated outfits that she chooses all alone "THIS IS WHAT I WEAR MAMA". For better but mostly worse.
She's tactical. She loves to touch and be touched. Hug and be hugged. Fist bumps. High fives.
"I need to respect his space." We say that. Lots.
But there are moments that stick out in my mind.
I see her determinedly marching on the altar at church to sit with the Pastor. Or in the lap of the children's ministry coordinator.
I think of my friend Janna, at a birthday party, vocally delighting in seeing Annie doing exactly... Annie. Feeling completely comfortable and confident and owning the room.
I remember how Stefani says she looks forward to Annie stories to share with her Mom.
I see how Susan sits with her and talks to her-- about REAL LIFE THREE YEAR OLD THINGS.
My heart swells when Grandma Doris asks after "her" Annie.
And I think these are the exact women I WANT her to be like.
She sits with near strangers. She shares her heart. You ALWAYS know where she stands.
She tries anything.
She can't pass a puddle without stomping in it.
She asks questions. She talks. Constantly.
Smart as a whip.
She is the BEST of grown women.
I need to see that through your eyes.
I see how people want to be with her. Feed from her energy. Enjoy her delight in... everything.
And I am taken back and reminded of the powerful, confident, accomplished women in my village.
These are my people. These are my women. I AM those women. I support and promote and surround myself by those women.
And how I think they see a little bit of Annie in themselves. Through their eyes.
She's a tough crowd.
She's our Annie.
I wouldn't change her for the world.
(But I might turn down the volume sometimes.)