My six-month-old baby girl squirms and giggles constantly. Avery’s feet are always moving, socks never on for long, and her hair is tousled from those antics. She keeps her daddy and me laughing which somehow makes this new level of exhaustion worth it.

Where’s my afternoon coffee? … I digress.

The best part about being a parent so far is seeing the wonderment in her eyes at every new experience. My heart turns to butter and childhood memories long forgotten come flooding back in an instant.

Avery Kate has a buddy, a fuzzy monkey we now call Marcel. She loves that thing, and to be honest, this mama is a bit jealous of the snuggles Marcel gets!

I laid Avery down for a nap on my old childhood bed at Mimi’s house one day and she curled up, squeezing Marcel with both arms. All of a sudden it was 1990-something and I was snuggled up on that bed with my favorite blanket. I held it to my cheek and drifted off to dreamland, not a care in the world. The memory was so vivid I could almost smell the blanket and hear the dog barking outside my window. I still have a tattered piece of my old blanket tucked in the sock drawer, but hadn’t thought of it in ages.

A little while later I took my daughter for a walk  — thank heaven for the sunshine we were blessed with last week. I let her scrunch her toes in Papa’s garden, and it happened again. I was running through that garden plot, freshly tilled for potatoes, and then down the street. The asphalt burned my feet. I could hear them slapping the gravely pavement, but what kid really needs shoes in the summertime, right?

We walked around the block and the wind blew through Avery’s hair. She squealed. “Mama rode her bike down this road when I was a little girl,” I told her. One day she will, too.

A child’s amazement brings renewed gratitude for simple things we often overlook. Last week I was thankful again for the comfort of a favorite blanket, the feel of freshly turned dirt between my toes and a cool breeze tickling my cheek.

And, y’all I’m thankful everyday for a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. Until Avery decides she can sleep more than three hours at a time without needing mama, I’ll be sending thank you’s heavenward for that nectar of the gods.

Exhausted though we may be, Jeremy and I excitedly await Avery Kate’s next discovery. Never have we laughed as much as we do now.

• Sarah Tarr Gove is news editor of The Blackshear Times. Email her at