A few weeks ago, I had a friend over for lunch. She came with her beautiful baby girl, Lucy. Though Lucy and Amira are exactly the same age, they couldn’t be more different.
Lucy’s mom said to me, “Her word is ‘Placid’. As long as she is fed, she is perfectly content to just sit there and be happy.” And it was true. Lucy wasn’t up for crawling or rolling around or getting to things. She was beautiful and happy, just sitting in one spot, laughing and playing with whatever was rolled her way.
We pondered over a word for Amira. We threw around spunky, spirited and vivacious, but none of those really felt right to me.
Yesterday, my little family and I were spending time with my larger extended family, where there were two other baby girls, also the same age as Amira. Baby girl Layla was sitting with her leg in front of baby girl Zoe, and baby girl Zoe was getting mad because that leg was preventing her from crawling forward. When someone went to help Zoe, her father said, “Don’t. Let her figure it out herself.”
If Lucy is a cool blue, and Zoe is a simmering yellow, Amira is a fiery red. She has never been placid, not even when she was in my belly, kicking my ribs for 5 months straight.
When Amira started rolling, she didn’t just roll over. She rolled over and over and over, right across the room. When she started crawling, nothing could stop her. Certainly not some little leg in her path. Not even two big adult legs in her path. Not even if those adult legs are curled up making a veritable mountain for her to climb. She will make every attempt to climb it, over and over, clawing and scraping and fighting, with no hesitation. At some point, she may just give you a look and then go around you. But she is stopped by nothing. She gets where she wants to go.
When Amira wants to stand up, she stands up. And when she can’t get it the first time, she tries and tries and falls and gets up and tries and falls again and hits her face on the ground and cries while trying to get up again. Sometimes I wish she would relax, but mostly, I am in awe of her persistence.
She gets places and gets into things and onto things and under things. She crawls and climbs and reaches and grabs and pulls and pushes and I know one day way too soon she’ll be jumping off the highest thing she can climb up on, no matter how many times I try to stop her. No matter how many times she falls. No matter how much it hurts. She keeps getting up, again and again.
It came to us in a moment. Amira’s word is Feisty.
She is spirited and spunky and animated and courageous. She scares me half to death with it all, but I hope to God she never loses one ounce of it.