Moving quickly into the room she's already mid-way through the discourse and I'm hoping to fill in the pieces to avoid asking the inevitable question, "Ahhhhh, Could you repeat that for Papa sweetie? I didn't catch all those words you just said."
"Daddy. You were NOT listening to me! "
"I was trying."
"Will you please get the camera and take some pictures of the new skirts Mama made for me?"
"I'd love to... Didn't you and Mama already take some pictures of those skirts?"
"Yes. But I have a plan for something different."
We gather up the fresh new skirts and locate Mamas camera ("cause hers is better than yours, right Papa?") and I follow obediently across the yard, without asking many questions. Adelaide continues to relay her litany of ideas about just how this shoot is going to go down although, I can't really hear her because she's in front of me. She points to the apple tree, one of her top hangout spots around the house, and says, "We're going to take the pictures over there but, let's pick some blackberries first!"
"I think the blackberries are pretty much done for the year but, we can check."
"Nope. There's lots of little ones left", she says with an amusing confidence as she stands amidst the prickly bush and plucks one of many tiny berries from its hold, "mmmmmmm."
"You were right!!" I say, tasting some as she hands them to me. "Yuuuummy."
"Okay. Are you ready to take some pictures now?"
"I am ready", says I.
We double back to the apple tree with a quick stop to see if the frogs are lounging by the edge of their pool. "They like it better when it's sunny", Adelaide informs me about the frogs and we keep moving. Under the canopy of her preferred tree, she scurries to and fro making plans and talking excitedly about how the skirts will lay perfectly across a branch.
"Which one?" I inquire.
"I've got to go up there and check."
So, after an admittedly large spider web deters her from climbing up from the bottom, she requests a lift to a safe spot, on a crook in the tree, where she continues to scout for the perfect branch to hang and photograph her new skirts. She tries a few and decides, for a multitude of reasons, on the best of the bunch. She places each skirt carefully on the slender twig and it bends under the load. Finally, she removes the one she is wearing and drapes it with the rest.
"There. Will you take some pictures now, Papa?"
"That's my job."
We have a little girl that's almost five.
Amidst her life with three brothers she knows just how to be herself.
We finish our photo shoot and, somehow, I end up carrying all of the props back to the house. She asks Harper if he'd like to go pick berries with her now. He loves and appreciates all of her stories. As they head off, back across the grass, she turns and shouts after me, "Papa!!".
"I love you!!"
"I love you, too!!"