Today is Lucy’s 9th birthday.

No, Lucy is not her real name, but I call her that on the Internet because she reminds me of Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia. My Lucy is valiant and strong. She is not shy about her opinions, but she is unfailingly kind and has a deeply empathetic personality. Her heart-stopping dimples and sunny personality win her friends left and right. When I asked her last night how many friends she thought she had, her answer: “I don’t know. A lot.” To Lucy, there are no strangers–only friends she hasn’t met yet.

Lucy is the MacGyver of the craft world. She can make anything out of anything. Last week, she made puppets–one from random pieces of cardboard trash she found, the other from one of her dad’s old socks. This week, she took chenille stems, toothpicks, masking tape, and pompoms and made a small family of robots. All of them are smiling. I would post a picture of them, but in her excitement to share, she took the whole family to school to show her teacher. That’s also fairly typical of Lucy.

Having four children sometimes feels like an exercise in damage control. It’s easy to become short-tempered and frustrated with the demands of being a mother, the bickering between siblings, the constant interruptions and lack of mental space that I used to have, once, long ago, in the 90s . . .

Where was I going with this?

Lucy is a little island of joy in the busy-ness and bustle of damage control. She has a personality that sometimes seems to dwarf her body and overwhelm the rest of us, but it’s just . . . Lucy. The same personality that overwhelms us also overflows into the hugs, kisses, giggles, smiles, and cuddles that she’s willing to share with us. She pours her entire being into everything she does, and our family is the richer for it.

So happy 9th birthday, Lucy. We thank God for you every day. You bring light and joy and happiness to our family, and we are blessed to call you our daughter and our sister.