For the second post in my five-day series listing the things I’m thankful for, I’m going to attempt to articulate the gratitude I feel for the existence of my daughter, Willow.

She’s 9 years old, but oh, that number does not do her justice. Sometimes it seems like she is every age at once. She can goof around easily with her 6-year-old brother while conversing with me on an adult level. She has turned me into a passionate pursuer of new knowledge and skills and ways to show compassion for others.

She’s the reason we foster kittens for the Western Montana Humane Society. She’s the reason I’m learning to knit again. She’s the reason I know so much about gila monsters. The reason I have half the friends I do – because she’s friends with their kids. She’s friends with everyone.

She’s my reason. And I’m so thankful for that.