Tuesday, April 14, 2009

27 months

Dear Miss Maddie,

As I type these words tonight, you are upstairs, freshly bathed and fast asleep, after what was a long day for both of us. It seems you've caught another cold, and with the 2-year molars cutting through in the back, well, it makes sense that you're not your usual self. Still spunky but with a bit of sassy and a whole lot o' stinker mixed in. 

For the most part, you continue to be one of the most agreeable, delightful and hilarious people I know. One of your key phrases from the past month is, "That's funny, Mom?," as you are constantly looking to amuse me. When you enter a room, it lights up with the joy, laughter and enthusiasm you bring. You are contagious, in the best way possible. Your Daddy told me just the other day that no matter how long he's been away, his heart still leaps in his chest whenever you call his name and run to him. 

We've dubbed you "The Director," as you have entered the stage of telling those around you what to do and how to do it. Not bossy, per se, but lovingly directive. You like to be in control, know what you want, and have your ways of making it known. You do NOT like to be told "No," and have many rebuttal responses to my disciplinary measures. It is exhausting, to tell you the truth. You have the potential to be a very powerful debater or world leader, or perhaps the recipient of 2nd grade "bossy cards," like your mother.

You are physically capable in every way. At the playground, you are a sight to behold as you scale ladders, swing from bars, spin around, swing, run, jump and twirl. You can practically dress yourself, from head to toe, hats to shoes. You love to pick out your own outfits and most days can be found decked out in princess regalia, twirling around as your cousins taught you. 

And you are fast. Your little legs can really move now, taking you in any direction in a hurry. This has been somewhat of a struggle as you've learned to run away. At home, when it's time to wash your face--not such a big deal. At the park, in the opposite direction, when I'm holding the baby--big deal. So far none of my disciplinary measures have worked. Not even the threat of taking away your princess dresses. 

You are still my girly girl, always asking for necklaces, bracelets, dresses, and never without your trusty lip gloss. A girl just can never have too much lip gloss. This month we painted your toenails for the first time, and you amazed me as you sat perfectly still not only for the painting, but for minutes afterward as you let them dry. You have your own unique style, not afraid to pair tutus with rain boots, sweatpants with sparkles

Another first this month: gum. You swallowed your first piece but after an explanation as to why you couldn't chew gum until you proved you could handle it without swallowing. The next day you informed me you were "ready to chew gum like a big girl." You've yet to swallow another piece! That's the thing about you, sweetheart, you can really do something when you put your mind to it.

The recent news has given us pause, as we will never be able to read another story of abuse or abduction without tearing up, without saying a silent prayer of protection over you, our treasured child. By nature you are sweet and inviting and affectionate and outgoing, greeting everyone with a "hello" and quick to learn names and make friends. At some point we will have to teach you about danger and strangers and it makes me sad to think about squelching your loving personality. I pray that you will always be quick to befriend, looking for people who need love and care, reaching out in the way only you can, with a measure of caution.

I'm so proud to be your mama, both on the good and bad days. You continue to keep me on my toes with your jokes, out-of-this-world reasoning capabilities, quick feet and never-ending curiosity. Thank you for teaching me such great joy and endless patience.



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