I should preface this post with a disclaimer: All of my girls are tough. They are all very capable and pretty well-rounded but Syd gets the attention today…My middle child (as she likes to playfully lament) was born after only 4 hours of labor and 20 minutes of delivery. I remember looking at her and saying, “You are so sweet!” But, as the most energetic (mentally and physically) of my three kids, she was a huge challenge in her formative years. Trying to pace her and keep her in one piece was no easy task (for a while her nickname was “Syd, Syd the X-ray kid.”) She was the child who would walk off on a tour in Williamsburg (everyone was her friend… and the guys voice was amusing…why not follow!) Go too deep in the water with no fear of drowning and have inexplicable episodes of vomiting in her sleep. My worst moment is her being non-responsive and having to ride in an ambulance when she was about 4 years old. The kid has put both of her parents through the ringer and then some. But she is also the one with the liveliest sense of humor and the one who can run the house if need be. She is the one who has accepted that her mother needs communication at all times…so she calls me to let me know what is going on. She can cook dinner, get her sister’s hair ready for ballet, bake for a bake sale I signed up for…and work it. She knows exactly what to do in my place…that is such a gift to me since I over schedule myself often. She wants the world be a better place because of her…so she is always volunteering for this cause or that. She is always opening her heart to someone or other (this can actually be a little scary!) Needless to say, I am her biggest fan. But the other day something clicked when I said, “I don’t have any kindling and I need to get a fire going.” “Can I do it?” Syd asked. “No, the ax will kill you!” (I always create outlandish scenarios to illustrate a concern…it makes it more fun…but I think a small part of me believes in the possibility!) She laughed….”MOM! How is the ax going to kill me, I am controlling it!” “That’s my point!”So after much back and forth about the perils of splitting wood, (because I can’t find a hatchet!) she assures me that “Daddy lets me do it?” News to me! Ok. So she went out….with nothing on her feet (do you see what I mean….!!!OY!) “Get something on your feet!” OK…trudge trudge and back again to the chopping block in the garage. And lo and behold, she did it. And then built the fire (By this time of year, I get sick of building and tending a fire but we heat the house with it so what are you going to do!) My aha moment was at hand….All of this time and love spent on this child….who demands everything, really, is officially paying off. I don’t split wood…I am too uncoordinated. But here she was, my renaissance girl who can answer the most obscure questions about history, loves makeup and hair (hers is a beautiful long light brown), just started a blog about shoes and can run the kitchen now splits the wood for me. God absolutely knew what he was doing when he sent me Syd…and I am so grateful! Who needs boys!