Nights like tonight, when I have time to sit with Violet, I can’t help but be overwhelmed at this empty vessel in my arms, this blank slate. Linda and I will fill her with lessons intentional and otherwise, they will intermingle with whatever ingredients of personality are inherently her own, and some unknowable amalgam will emerge as our daughter. I’m dying to meet that person, to get to know her mannerisms, to hear how she laughs or better yet, to know her sense of humor. How will she look standing in the snow or opening presents on Christmas morning? Will she be slow or quick to anger, cry, forgive? I know I have some influence over the answers to these questions, but no one can tell me for sure – no matter what anyone says – how much influence I have. Still, it’s a little scary. So, for now, it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy this perfect child that I haven’t messed up yet.