Yesterday the Little Sister and I spent the afternoon exploring some rock pools. We stuck our fingers in anemones to make them close up and tried to catch periwinkles before they shut their doors. She climbed quickly and soon left me behind.
Then, as she's prone to do, she sat down on a rock and got very cross that I wouldn't let her get any closer to the ocean.
She picked her bottom lip up pretty quickly and as we inspected limpets stuck fast on the side of a rock I remembered a Harriet Beecher Stowe quote.
After I read that quote four and a bit years ago, I did some research into Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was pivotal in American history and the eventual end of slavery. Legend has it that the President of the day, Abraham Lincoln, invited her to the White House and when she arrived he said "so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war".
I named the Little Sister Harriet after I read that. It was a name I thought would convey strength and limitless opportunities.
The quote that started it all seems even more poignant now. The Little Sister was the baby who dragged me through after we lost David. I had to keep getting up and feeding her, bathing her, washing the her little wonder suits and hanging those little rabbit pelts on the line.
She had needs and I was the only person who could meet them. We just kept putting one foot in front of the other, holding on until one day, the tide turned.
I have so much to be grateful to this cantankerous, clever, cuddly red head for. These past four years have been a tiring, frustrating, wonderful pleasure.
Happy birthday beautiful girl and thank you.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Happy birthday Harriet x
Awww ... such lovely & powerful words Amanda. Happy Birthday to beautiful Harriet. xx
Gorgeous words. Happy birthday to your special girl. xx
That is such an amazing quote! No wonder the girl you named in it's honour is fiesty and knows her own mind xx
Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel says
I named my Harriet purely because I have loved the name for years. We laughed when I was pregnant because it means "ruler of the household", and we thought she'd have to have a pretty strong personality to achieve that around here. Turns out the joke was on us - she is a strong-willed, cantankerous, but hilarious little ginger. Must be in the name! xx
How lovely. i really enjoy your writing, Amanda. It is so thoughtful and the anecdotes of family life are beautiful. Thanks for sharing and happy birthday Harriet (she has a name?! it's not Little Sister?!)
So many tears, what a beautiful reflection. xx
Cindy@Your KidsOT says
What a quote and beautiful reflection. Happy Birthday to Harriet!
Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me says
She's the gift you needed right at the time when you needed it most, and the best part is that she keeps on giving. Wishing your gorgeous girl a happy birthday. I love the name story, wish mine were chosen in a special way! xx