My second daughter, Susan, is turning thirteen this month. This child has an interesting gift: she has an extra sense of things unseen. It was particularly noticeable when she was small. As an infant, she was very tuned in to my thoughts, it seemed. Sometimes I would wake up briefly in the middle of the night; if I went back to sleep quickly, all was quiet. But if I even thought about Susan, almost immediately she would cry out. This happened over and over and over until I finally learned to think of anything but her during my brief nocturnal wakings. If I was successful, she slept on. If I slipped and even thought of not thinking about her, she woke up. It was very strange -- and sometimes frustrating, to have a child that could seemingly read my mind.
As Susan grew, it became apparent that she was very sensitive physically as well. She had the most sensitive skin, and had more diaper rashes than any of my other babies. She was very sensitive to the temperature of food, bathwater, and weather. She would wrinkle her nose at the faintest smell that even my pregnant nose didn't detect, and most foods were too strong tasting for her particular palate. Her emotions were also sensitive; as a little girl, she seemed to vacillate between bitter disappointment and ecstatic euphoria at the flip of a switch. In Susan's world, when life was good, it was very very good, but when it was bad, it was horrid. To be honest, I worried about her more than a little; if she was this temperamental as a four year old, what would the teenage years be like?
As she got older, she continued to demonstrate her uncanny ability to see beyond what most others could. Her older sister soon learned that it was no fun to play Memory with Susan, because not only was Susan's visual memory formidable, but she would often guess matches from cards that had not yet been turned over. When I mediated disputes with the "pick a number between 1 and 100 method" Susan would win much more often than her share, many times guessing the exact number I was thinking of! I must admit that there were a few times that I cheated and changed the number after she guessed, to try to make it a little more fair for the other kids. (Sorry Susan)
I am happy to report that as Susan has grown, that she has developed much more self-control than she had at the age of four. :) Poised to enter her teenage years, she is a beautiful, intelligent, talented young lady with a really fun sense of humor, and has an entertaining knack for silly song lyrics and clever quips that keep us laughing. She is known among her peers as a very kind and loyal friend, with an independence of will that leads her to do what she thinks is right irregardless of what "the crowd" says.
Now on the brink of womanhood, Susan continues to exhibit an unusual level of awareness for things unseen, including a valuable sensitivity to the Holy Ghost. On the surface, she is often quite placid, and usually keeps her own counsel, but I believe that underneath that calm exterior is a young lady that thinks and feels things very deeply. It has been fascinating to watch her grow up and begin to mature into such an amazing person. I am enjoying every minute of it.
Susan, I love you very much. You are an important part of our family, and I am very honored to be your mother.