Well, Jenny up and added another blog, Tales from the Branches. I thought I could get away with not doing one blog, but the burden has overcome me and so, after most of the Summer off, I had to begin again. Why? I don't honestly channel my inner George Mallory, "Because it's there."

I have a daughter.

That's her. She is the apex of lovely. Anytime eyes take up a third of the face, they can be considered "large".

We also have two sons. They are boys, as sons tend to be, and I get them. I get boys. I do. I was one and still have some boy left in me that I choose to blame for not writing more blogs. It's childish, I know, as boys tend to be.

But girls...they remain a mystery.

I am married to a girl so one would think I would understand girls better. But any man who says he has reached the end of learning regarding his wife is standing on the Western edge of Ireland and shouting, "Look, I have reached the end of the world!" and discounts the vast undiscovered continent from which I now type.

So, I'm learning.

My daughter was different from the get-go. She never liked to be thrown 10 feet in the air as did my first son. She didn't play rough. She snuggled. She wore pink. And while I am not some neanderthal buffoon, I just had a harder time connecting. It took me awhile and it took my lovely bride warning me a year or so ago, "You're missing it. You are missing her wonder."

And so I applied myself to knowing her. It required effort where ease had been the rule. Boys bond by doing. So we just did stuff together. Girls...they just want you there and they want you to listen. So I started listening to my daughter. And she talks. A lot. Her words are a monsoon which gather in tributary mass and pour forth great rivers over my ears. So I listen. And respond. And listen more. And watch her tell me about why she wants to wear princess dresses and how her hair brush works and why her pink bear is her favorite bear even more than her sock monkey which isn't her favorite because it's not pink and not her favorite. And then she crawls into my lap and opens the azure lighthouses that are her eyes and tells me that she loves me.

And I am loved.

Not with some greeting card phrase or flimsy sit-com love. I am loved purely because I am her daddy and for no other reason. She loves me wholly and fully and simply. It is undeserved and unmerited.

And I am transformed.

God loves little children. They are, among all creatures, special to him, dear to him. And I see now, if only just a sliver, why he does. They love him just because he is. And he deserves and merits that love whereas I do not. And yet I receive it from my daughter. Who loves me. And whom I love.