This is Savannah's "I am truly thrilled to be running on a pristine beach in Central America, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities for personal enrichment my loving parents are affording me" face. Her poker face, for short. She is measured, temperate, deliberate, always holding her cards close to her chest. When I showed her this picture and teased her about it, she laughed and said, "I look so miserable!" And I said, "I know! You always look miserable!" And she laughed again, "But I'm not. I can smile more if you want me to, I guess." And I thought for a minute, then I said, "No, I really, really like you just how you are. You're my girl just how you are." And that's the truth. It just wouldn't be quite right if she were some other way.
When she doesn't understand a joke, a historical reference, a pop culture citation, she interrupts you mid-word and forces you to explain the socio-culturo-religio-political context of the joke or reference in holistic detail, peppering you with follow up questions until she is satisfied she gets it. Then she laughs.
She has more self-discipline than most adults -- more than most important world leaders, for that matter. We told her she'd get fifty bucks if she did a six-week sugar fast. She was stoically silent for a couple of seconds, then hardened her expression. "Okay," was all she said. And she didn't touch sugar for the next six weeks. No close calls, no near misses, no whining. She has more money in the bank -- that she has earned -- than 40% of all Americans. I am not making this up.
She is my sweet poker face. Sometimes, when I slip into her room after I think she's asleep, and I kiss her forehead goodnight and whisper that I love her, she'll wait until I'm almost out the door and she thinks I can't hear before she'll whisper, "I love you too." But I hear it. And it makes me glad I don't have to live in a world where there's no Savannah.