Pippa turned 9 last week. She wanted a very specific celebration. Dinner at home with her favorite foods and a night at the Ritz Carlton in Sintra. She likes being fancy. She loves hotels. Her birthday was a Monday. The hotel stay was on Friday and in between she wanted the partying to continue.
The thing about Pippa is that she’s a pretty easy kid. She doesn’t really demand a lot. She doesn’t want much. She says her favorite things are to be at home and play with her toys and give out hugs and kisses to me. She had to write a poem recently about her best friend and she wrote it about me. When asked what her and her best friend liked to do together she wrote cuddle. She is the best cuddler.
Pippa is fiercely loyal. She really hates hurting the people she loves. If we get angry with her, she actually thinks about what she did to hurt us and she gives out these wonderful sincere apologies. When she cries her hazel eyes turn bright green. This makes her sadness seem even more acute.
Sometimes I like to mess with her and talk about the men I am in love with…none of whom are her father. Men like the Portuguese guy who sells butter on billboards around town, or Channing Tatum (now that he is single). My priest always tells Pippa to attack me when I mention these men. He calls her his warrior princess, but she prefers “Pip bull.”
There is something magical about Pippa. I have never met anyone like her before. She’s funny to be sure. She is extremely smart, but doesn’t care about her grades. When I ask her why she doesn’t write neater or study for tests, her answer is always that same, “who am I trying to impress? The only opinion that matters is God’s and he doesn’t care about my cursive.” True. She always dances like no one is watching. Her Tuesday flamenco dance class is the highlight of my week. Watching this little girl dance with such intensity is mesmerizing. Maggie thinks it is creepy that her sister never smiles while dancing and Pippa’s answer is, “flamenco is a dance of passion, it is not a dance for simple people who want to just have fun and smile.” Also true.
I never worry about Pippa being hurt by rude or mean kids because she sees through them. She has told me why kids are jerks and why she just ignores them, or feels sorry for them. She is wise beyond her years. I often say I want to be like Pippa when I grow up because she really is living life right. She defends those she loves, she loves passionately, she sees humor in everything and she doesn’t worry about things that aren’t truly important. I didn’t teach these things to her. My Pip bull discovered early on that life is meant to be enjoyed and how you enjoy life is to love with your whole heart. I hope her love helps to transform the world.