My little one is the very essence of her grandfather, six feet plus of Dad packed into just under 36 inches of Mary. She is my dad once through the hot cycle and a high heat dryer spin. She is what would remain if we had run Dad through Willie Wonka's Television Chocolate camera, as was the fate of Mike Teavee from Marble Falls, Arizona.
Mary is dynamic. When she was very young, less than two, she would sit in restaurants and look around, trying madly to find someone nearby who would make eye contact with her, prefering to make friends than to spend any time with the quesadilla on her plate. She is bossy, fearless, loud and quite often exhausted. She is the first one up each day, racing down the hall, ready to begin again. She rarely walks, much prefers running, and is terrified of missing anything, her most repeated phrase being "what did you say?". She worships her sister, protects and defends her, and is quite capable of doing 10 things at once, as long as she is with Kate.
When she falls down, as she often does, she pops up immediatley to announce "I'm alright!" and then continues on, not pausing once to check for damages.Her tiny legs are covered with bruises and scrapes, summer being an especially rough season on one who runs with wild abandon wherever she goes. She never hesitates to try anything new, most recently gobbling up a piece of octopus at a tapas restaurant. She values her small circle of friends intensely and remembers the very important details, which at this age means knowing that Brady just turned four, has brown eyes and does not care for guacamole.
She is, and has always been, keenly sensitive. When I am upset Mary is the first one to comfort me, very quick to offer "I love you Mom", with a warm little hug and a messy kiss. She tries very hard to understand family and reminds me, often, that while I may miss my dad I am very lucky to still have my mom. She pushes her father, quite frequently, to please tell his parents that he loves them. And once, when hurt by someone she loves, she told me that he "is just not so good at showing people that he loves them". She breaks my heart, makes me sing, and reminds me that all good things come full circle.
She does not, however, smoke cigars.