I got these watercolor paints for Charlotte for Christmas, but then I forgot to give them to her, so she got them for her birthday instead. She once spent an entire morning outside painting in 90 degree weather and did not come in for lunch. She filled up page after page with mostly blue. Blue has been Chuck’s favorite color since she could identify it, and for the longest time it was the only color she knew. She can set up the paints on her own and clean up after herself, and since it’s outside, it doesn’t matter if she makes a mess. With the kids I am watching, we have had 3 birthdays in the last two weeks, so it was no surprise she started making a birthday card, this one for her uncle Ben. She folded the card when she was done painting on it and wrote out the birthday song in long lines of zig zag words. Next, she moved on to making a spider web, and she asked me to make a spider web too. She gave me lots of directions for making my drawing and had to include a baby spider, a mommy spider, and a daddy spider. Later she wanted to add a spider for her. James walked by, and she decided she wanted to give the drawing to him for his shop. After telling him to let it dry first, she took it from him to put his name on it. James sat down and helped her with his name, and I played with Winnie. She is so relaxed when we are outside, mesmerized by the positive and negative space of the canopy above her. Somehow, it’s been 3 months since Winnie was born, and she has awakened in so many ways. She is constant movement, sound, and smile; a lover of life, people, and the activity around her. I tell her everyday that I owe her big time for being such an easy going baby. She is helping make this summer not just manageable, but truly enjoyable. As the daylight faded, we painted until the bug bites became unbearable and the cicadas sang away our conversation.