Annabel watched a lot of the 2016 election coverage with us, especially the debates, speeches, and town halls. She was very into the whole thing, but she was particularly fond of watching people give speeches. She started saying things to us like, “Can I give a speech before we open our presents on Christmas?” or “I’m going to ask my teacher if I can give a speech about picking up trash at school.” or “I think James needs me to give him a speech about sharing.”

The morning of Annie’s birthday party, she said to Mike, “Dad, I’m going to give a speech at my party. Can you help me?” She dictated her speech to Mike, and then she spent the rest of the day practicing it. I didn’t think she’d actually end up giving it, but before we started the movie she stood up and said, “Everybody!!! I have a speech, I need your attention!”

And then she read her words:

Everyone knows that in your life you will have to make some decisions, but there are some times when you can let it go and have fun.

So we are all gathered here today to celebrate my birthday. We will watch a movie and we will have fun. Some will stay, and some will leave at the end of the night. We will say our goodbyes and promise ourselves this fun will stay in our memories. So let us go and have a great day!

The girls all gave her a big cheer and clapped, and then they started the movie. Mike and I stood in the back, having that parent reaction where you laugh and cry and burst all at the same time.

I don’t know where this girl came from, but I can’t wait to see where she’s going.