Our baby turned into a little girl. I know it’s not exactly a revelation that a child grows up, but when it’s your child, and it happens before (and away from) your eyes, it is startling in a very gradual way.

Jackie at the Underwood Elementary playground down the street (photo credit: Andy Blair)

Believe me, Spring in North Carolina is magical when you experience it with Jackie. I will no longer take the combination of ideal weather, my family, and my neighborhood for granted; every minute spent outdoors, downtown, at the farmers market, in the backyard is precious. Anytime we stroll down White Oak Road, we get to know the people living around us.

One neighbor in particular is special. Drew lives down the street, and he already seems to have a bond with Jackie.

Jackie and Drew, Easter snacking at Fallon Park

Jackie and Drew, tandem sliding

April and May have bestowed halcyon days on our family. Jackie is developing in so many ways. Her vocabulary is expanding, she’s confident on her feet, and her personality is revealed a little more all the time. I love my girls more than anything. I am so grateful for my boys (Bax and Robah). And, come September, another boy will join us, even though when we ask Jackie if she wants a little brother, she responds with an emphatic NO.

Jackie at the playground, looking for McLain?