When I grow up, I want to be like my daughter.

She’s amazingly beautiful.

I know every mom says that about their children, but this girl, she’s just, as Jim Carrey said in one of his movies, B-E-A-UTIFUL. I love all of my kids and think that they are all special and unique and when I watched this little lady ‘reading’ her books I felt the need to pick up my laptop and try to put into words what lessons she’s taught me and how she’s made my world a better place.

The one phrase that I’ve used over and over, her entire life, to describe her is that my little redhead has personality oozing out of her entire body. She’s always been a little butterball and when she bounces into a room you can just feel the energy shift. She brings life. She brings excitement. She brings silliness. She brings smiles. She brings energy. She brings bossiness. She brings power. She brings uninhibited love. She’s one of a kind. When she shows up, everyone knows that she is there.

Her smile stretches across her face and when she smiles, she smiles with her entire body. Literally, she ‘Chris-Farley’s’ it and now she knows how cute she is when she does it so she smiles like this all of the stinking time. Picture this, every time that she wants to work a room:

She can make my day brighter just by being in the same room as me.

She defines strong-willed.

Sometimes it’s a softly-spoken strong will and other times it’s a loud and boisterous, “I’m going to make sure that all of Target knows that I’m mad at you mom” strong will. But either way, she can command a room.

She taps on the cold, hard tiled floor and the boys sit. She yells and screams and the boys give her what she’s pointing to. She says their name 25 times in a row until she gets what she wants, and they don’t complain. Her cousin even ‘bows down’ when she bugs him enough to hold her hand in the car (even though he’s perfected his eye-roll when he ‘obeys’). That’s power. And she’s not shy about expecting it. One day, when she’s a teenager, I probably won’t find it as cute as I do now, but until then, I want to learn from her and be like her.

I want to bounce into a room with pure happiness and joyfulness and expect those around me to join me in my pursuit of laughter and fun. I want to not care what anyone else thinks of me. I want to enjoy a good Chris Farley smile and not care how fat it makes my face look. I want to live life as care free as my little lady.

The only thing that I am thankful for from my soon-to-be-ex is that I now have a bundle of joy that keeps me on my toes. God entrusted me with this little fireball, I think, to learn from and to remind me to keep my ‘spark’ alive so that I can keep hers alive. It’s really helped me to focus on tough moments in a different way.

Fake it ’till you make it.

I don’t ever want to see her down or sad so why in heaven’s name would I set the example for her. It’s not always easy to be as happy as she is but I make firm decisions to put a smile on my face because if I don’t, it will affect her and the boys. So as many times as her father calls and texts and tries to affect my life in a negative way, I just look at her and try to mimic her smile and carefree disposition.

Her giggle is infectious so when I need to laugh because life is getting heavy, I turn to her, try to make her laugh, which forces me to smile and then I laugh harder when she giggles.

I’m so lucky and thankful that God has given me three amazing kids, one being the #cutestlittleredhead. I encourage you to find the best thing about someone you love and mimic it, back to them. Share with them the joy that they give to you. Life’s more fun when you’re smiling!