Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Oh my sweet girl,

Two years ago at 11:21 am, you entered this world pink, swollen, squeaky and the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. From our first moments face to face to the friendship we share today, I can say without question that I am so proud to be your Mama.

Two means a lot of changes for you, my little miss. We've been talking more and more about what it means to be a "big girl." In the next few days, your new bed will arrive and you will no longer sleep in a crib. We have been working on potty training and you talk constantly about wearing "big girl undies with princesses on them." Just yesterday you wore your big sister t-shirt and we talked about the baby brother that will be arriving in just two short months. Your Daddy is always commenting on what a little girl you're becoming, and so quickly.

But in the past month I've also had more opportunities to snuggle you, rock you, and hold you close in my arms like a baby. I've looked at your little face, those impossibly pink lips, smoothed the hair away from your face, and stared in disbelief at the fact that soon my little girl will no longer be the baby of the house.

Yet growing up is so much fun. You amuse us every day with your perceptions and interpretations of what is happening around you, providing an ongoing commentary filled with great description and detail. You show sheer delight in the world, in small things and big things, presents and people, cats and cousins, sledding and singing. Your Daddy and I hope you never lose this sense of adventure and astonishment in the world around you. You thrive in new environments and amaze us with your capacity to tolerate and even enjoy change.

As this new year brings so much to look forward to, it also makes me keenly aware of how you are moving away and how little I am actually capable of shielding you from as you become more independent. A few weeks back a friend hit you while playing and your first reaction was a nervous little laugh, calling her "silly." But soon big crocodile tears welled in your eyes and you climbed in my lap, not able to understand what just happened. 

Later that night, long after putting you to sleep, I lay in bed thinking of your trusting little face that showed such pain and an inability to understand why someone you love would hurt you. It wasn't the fact that you got hurt that made me cry that night, it was just knowing that there are so many boo-boos ahead, so many hurt feelings, so much that I just won't be able to protect you from. And it makes me feel sad. 

In so many ways I look forward to the birth of your baby brother, but I am also grieving the fact that our relationship will change and I won't be as available to you as I've always been. I trust that you and I will navigate this new adventure like every one before and come out stronger and better on the other side. But my sweet girl, know that with each passing day I find it harder and harder to put you down at night, giving you just one more kiss or allowing "just one more story" because I want so badly to fill you up with all the love I possibly can right now.

And you are so easy to love. You continue to be the sweetest, most affectionate child I know. You freely offer kisses and hugs to everyone you love and have a special sense for knowing when someone needs gentle care, like allowing your 9o year-old great-grandmother to pull you up into her lap without acting the least bit squirrely. Often when I pick you up after a nap, or to comfort you after a boo-boo, you will pat my back with your little hands, as if to reassure me.

As you turn two, I hope you know without a doubt how greatly you are loved and treasured, what a gift and miracle you are, and how much you have enriched our lives. I thank God every time I pray for such a sweet, loving, inquisitive child and I am overwhelmed at His love, goodness and mercy in allowing me to be your parent. Happy Birthday, sweet Madeleine Noelle!




bonnieb said...

If there were a way we could protect our precious children from every injury we would. But somehow God knows best and he does not insulate us from all trials. I'm with you every step of the way though. I want her to never suffer or you either. I love you both so much.

mel said...

I just love your letters to Maddie! They are so beautifully written, they bring tears to my eyes! Kate (and I) are so thankful for Maddie & your friendship! Happy 2nd Birthday Maddie! We love you!