There are many words that come to mind at the thought of my daughter..love, pride, beauty, fear, strength & awe.

From the time Leah was born and I stared into those big brown eyes of hers I lost my heart right there and then, she was an amazingly alert and bright baby, from the moment you were in her presence her eyes would follow your every movement and her smile would light up the room. She captured her heart as all little girls do and in our eyes she was everything and more. Leah was not incredibly excited when Seth came along and was quick to point out that she would much rather prefer a puppy, but in true Leah style she quickly bounced back and decided he could be trouble and would need to be watched.

Of course much to our secret amusement, whenever something went wrong be it in Leah's life or ours, she was quick to blame Seth. The Sun would disappear suddenly and it would start to rain spelling the end of whatever wonderful game Leah was playing and on occasion... oh ok, on numerous occasions she would angrily pack away her things and stomp inside mumbling or loudly stating that somehow it was all Seths fault. If there were any accidents where something was accidently broken due to boisterous inside play, I would enter the room only to find Leah pointing to Seth in his bouncer or later in his playpen declaring him to be the culprit, "Oh", I would say, "is that so, you know your baby brother cannot even walk yet, right?", she would just fix me with this wide eyed innocent, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth look and pout, "Oh I know Momma, but he's tricky he is", all the while nodding, her ponytail bobbing away. Of course Harry and I would share many a laugh over these antics but of course never in front of Leah.

She was such a beautiful child, of that there was never any question, of course Harry would chime, "she takes after her father, so naturally she is blessed". Above all else though, I am in awe of her strength, her strength and her bravery, on her first day of school, we arrived to find a lot of the children in tears, clinging to their mother, their father or both, as usual Leah assessed the situation quietly taking everything in, before finally turning to Harry and myself and asking calmly, "Your coming back for me right? We'll go home have dinner and play yes?" I could say we were stunned and shocked but this was our Leah, "Of course", we both quickly replied, bending down to meet his daughter at eye level, Harry quietly pointed to the ground and said, "Right here ok Lee, Mommy and Daddy will be waiting right here", she looked up at me then her big brown eyes waiting for reassurance, cradling a sleeping Seth in my arms I bent down and kissed her forehead whispering, "We promise, this is exactly where we'll be", giving Seth a quick kiss on the cheek and turning her beautiful smile on us both, she quickly hugged and kissed us, bidding us both farewell before adding, "Well ok then, I just needed to know that you'll both be ok without me", and without so much as a frown she waved and skipped off to be with her teacher. She told us later that a lot of children cired that day, that a lot of them were scared, but not her, she remembered our promise to be there, for Leah it was that simple, but even to this day I look back and am inspired by her bravery.

In these traits she has never changed. she may not smile as readily as she once did, but then she has been through much and honestly I'm amazed at how resilient she is, which really shows her inner strength. Loyalty is somehting I didn't mention earlier but that is also without question, she may not publicly declare or show affection for Seth but never for a second doubt it and I pity anyone who would be so foolish to do so.

Despite everything that has happened to our family, our love and commitment to each other goes without saying. Leah may never realise this and I would never burden her young shoulders with such declarations but she is my rock, the one who inspires me to remain strong every day, to remain positive and never give up. Leah still watches my every movement, every emotion that crosses my face and when I am so blessed on those rare occasions that I catch her smile...it still lights up the room.


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