My daughter, I confess, this photo wasn't taken on the eighty-first day of this year. From dawn until far into the night it was clear you weren't in a picture-taking mood. Or a remotely happy state, for that matter. You are cutting two teeth at present, and having a miserable time doing it.

In the evening you threw a frightful fit. Never before have you been so mad, so angry at me for your discomfort. You fought me in every way you knew how, and I fought the awful feelings of hurt and wrath that boiled in my soul. You cried and screamed and I went to you, again and again, and finally you tired into sleep. Your daddy and I stayed up for some time afterward talking, of a heavenly father whose love is endless, of the way we often fight, childishly, the very providence that is for our good. My daughter, in mothering you I know love, and hope, and the God who holds them perfectly in his hands, more and more each day.

In the morning I pressed you close, still sleepy, on the couch. I nuzzled your soft cheeks against mine and smelled the baby scent of your hair, your skin. Weeping may endure for the night, yes, but Joy comes in the morning.

March 22, 2015