It’s been a tradition for Kristie since her first year, and for me for a decade, but this was Blanche’s first 4th of July trip to the lake for which she was named. Though it wasn’t her first time there, it was a little extra special knowing that this annual week on this specific lake is 90% of the reason why our girl’s name is Blanche. I say 90% because I can’t imagine we’d name a girl Ottertail, the lake across the road from Blanche, even if we’d had the most wonderful memories there. We do like the name on its own.
B didn’t like getting into her swimsuit, but she was quite proud of how cute she looked once she was in it. And at only four months old (this Saturday!), she’s yet to develop a body image issue. Thus, the monster thigh rolls can be considered cute and not unfortunate. I’ve been told they stay cute for up to three years, and at that point a parent can officially start to worry. Or at least switch from fries to apple dippers with their happy meals.
Aside from the obvious cuteness, several things about this picture are indicative of where Blanche is these days. First, she can’t get enough standing. Loves loves loves it. If she’s sitting, she’ll try to hoist her body up. If you give her the slightest assistance, she stiffens her legs and wavers rigidly until you virtually force her legs to bend and butt to touch down. She’s obviously unstable at best, but is adept at using gentle guiding arms to counter-balance her swaying.
Next: it may be hard to see clearly, but Blanche is a little redhead these days! Not fire orange, but more of an auburn. Though there’s plenty of red in my extended family, neither Kristie nor I saw this one coming. It’s her third distinct hue, and I’m sure there are more to come. I was told by an 80-something man I’d just met, on our last trip up north, that redheads are either frustratingly feisty or surprisingly docile. His words, but I guess I wouldn’t check the ‘docile’ box on the day care “My child is…” questionnaire.
Finally, if there were any doubters, this picture confirms Blanche as my daughter. The square head, acceptable pudginess and facial arrangement provide a striking resemblance, though none of the specific features are identical. Kristie says that in a room of 100 men, any fool would pinpoint me as her daddy.
So, Fourth of July 2010 will be a memorable one. Blanche dipped her toes in her lake for the first of the thousands of times she’ll do so in her life. No need to be overdramatic, and it feels more significant now, looking back, but it certainly was one of those moments I’ve talked about. Kristie grew up with lakes and their activities as a large part of her life, and I did to some extent, but Blanche will be a water girl. Those stiff legs will be perfect for skiing. She’s already endured a two-hour paddleboat trip and even nursed on the ride! Is that legal? The life jacket was strapped to the seat…