The little girl who lives down the hall is delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for a toddler. Her voice is faint and sweet. Her laughter tinkles about her like music through an open window. She is enchanting, ethereal.

At least that’s the will-o’-the-wisp I know by day. Bedtime, apparently, is her witching hour. Sleep is her nemesis which she fights with otherworldly powers. Some nights she sobs, inconsolable, for hours on end before finally giving in to sleep.

This charming being is my daughter’s best friend. Exactly one week apart in age, two greater opposites do not exist. By day my daughter is a tempest. By night, an angel. She goes to bed blowing kisses and babbling softly to herself before drifting off to a peaceful, untroubled slumber.

In one way, and one way only, the two are perfectly alike. Awake, they are unceasing motion. That makes it all the more satisfying when I’m able to capture those fleeting expressions and details of playthings and outfits that might otherwise be forgotten. The “now of toddlerhood,” a friend described it.

Since these photos were meant as a Valentine surprise from the will-o’-the-wisp’s mama to her papa I didn’t want to post them before their own celebration, which was last night. Her mother hoped she would hold up a simple card. Te quiero Papa. I love you Papa. And she did. Out of the mouth of babes.

Gaby Griffith - February 17, 2012 - 5:41 pm

Your description of Sophie is perfect, I agree she is the most delicate and feminine little girl, and oh so lovable! The pictures are perfect, they must have been such a wonderful surprise to her loving daddy, especially the shot of her smiling face, she has such resemblance of both her parents on it! What a wonderful gift idea 🙂

Jill Cordes - February 18, 2012 - 2:44 am

beautifully written!!!! Seriously. Made me weep. Of course.

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