Today our granddaughter Anna is eleven years old. When she was born she was tiny and pink and delicate and was truly a breath of spring. I said then that I thought she looked like a petunia and the name stuck. My sweet Petunia!
The name just fits. Like she fits. Perfectly.
Most people call her Anna but often I still call her Petunia – probably always will. “A petunia by any other name is just as sweet.”
She is a beautiful child – inside and out. Her beauty emanates from her soul. She has such a loving spirit and she exudes joy! And I am sometimes the welcome recipient of that love and joy.
Anna is petite. She comes from a long line of short women. 5 or 6 generations of my wife’s family is/was comprised of women who stand/stood around five feet tall (or less). Height is probably not in her future. But stature aside, Anna looms large! She is a straight-A student. She’s an equestrian. She is a Girl Scout who is involved in Robotics competitions. She plays basketball and softball. She sings in the Choir. She journals. She loves to perform in theater.
She’s the ALL-AMERICAN GIRL.
I’ve seen her grab the reins of a horse many times her size and take control. While she climbs into the saddle she looks like a natural – and I suppose she is. I still hold my breath every time she jumps a hurdle but she does it with grace and panache. So confident; so capable. Whether she’s playing on a court or on a ballfield or just with friends in the neighborhood, she gives it her all. Smiling, always smiling. It’s hard to contain her joy.
Anna is a mother hen. She looks after her little brother and loves to be with her younger cousins. She enjoys the friendships of boys as well as girls. And she can be ‘the biggest duck in the puddle’. Still, she’s mature beyond her years, ladylike and respectful. Mostly she loves! She loves God. She loves her parents, her brother, her friends, all animals, and even this old curmudgeon.
She has the sense of humor, beauty, and brains of her mother, the inquisitiveness, determination and confidence of her father and, the kindness of her grandmother. She humbles me.
Some would call her a pre-teen. I’m not really ready for a teenager, but it’s not up to me. Time marches on and she will continue to grow into a lovely young woman. I look forward to what the future holds for a grown-up Anna. But in my selfish heart there’s a little part that wants her to stay my tiny Petunia forever.