Dearest Sophia,

Late in the evening, I pause to consider another year that I have shared with my “wee lass” Sophia.

For today, my sweet girl, is the occasion of your second birthday.

Better than your first, this year has been an ever-unfolding of your personality…  as with each week and each day, you have become less a baby and more of a little girl.

In appearance, your sky-blue eyes have not lessened in their intensity but increased. Complete strangers will remark to your mother and I on the power of your gaze, and I amazed by how you can make your eyes burn in both joy and displeasure.

Your hair has continued to lighten into a fine tangle of spun gold, but your curls have lost their shape into a slight wave. I believe your hair will come to resemble that of your sister’s straight honey-brown tresses in time.

However, I do not think you will quite be as tall and slender as your sister. You have very strong forearms and calves, with a chest and shoulder structure of athletic build. The combination thereof tends to give your entire frame an amusing posture of pugnacity, which sorts rather curiously with your personality.

Your mother and I joke that you are an “Alpha Girl” but it is no laughing matter for your brother and sister. You have a force of personality and sense of self that precludes you from ever being lost in the shuffle or marginalized in the fray. I think you and I shall have some battles ahead of us, little girl.

This is not to say that you are impertinent, quite the contrary, but more that you seem to lack the natural reservations of your two older siblings. You have an audacity that, I think, almost overwhelms others and encourages them to follow your lead more so than their own. It is this trait, far more than any other, which I find most familiar.

You are, on the whole, even-tempered and convivial. I enjoy having conversations with you and you are already making yourself an “asset” to our household. Your mother calls you her “little helper” as you are both eager and glad to help with any chores or errands that you are capable.

With the addition of your baby brother Liam to our family, there was some concern as to your adjustment in no longer being the “baby” of the house. However, it seems that you never really cared much for that title anyway, as you prefer the role of “big sister” in helping with “baby LEEM” (as you call him).

Though you do appear to rue the sudden dearth in the “Momma cuddle time” that you have enjoyed for the span of your young life, you have more than compensated with your “Da” and our mid-day naps.

Sophia, there is more I could invest into this letter, except that I would rather spend more of this evening with your person.

Indeed, you are pushing a sticky cup towards me as I write this…  politely, but insistently, asking that I re-fill your drink.

So I will, my wee lass, I will close this rambling missive to gather you into my arms and carry you into the Kitchen with me. I will fill your cup and tickle your belly. We will play together for the remaining substance of this evening.

After which, with pajamas on and teeth brushed, you will lead me by the hand upstairs to the children’s bedrooms. I will gently lift you into your bed and tuck you in for the night.

Happy birthday and good night, my sweet little girl.

Your devoted father,