Friday, August 14, 2009

31 Months: Maddie

My Sweet Girl,

Kelly and I were joking around the other day about how we didn't go into parenting requesting "extra sauce" with our children. You have a spunk and a liveliness about you that I wouldn't trade for the world, because those characteristics make you the incredible girl you are; yet in the especially saucy moments I wonder just how I will make it to bedtime. With each passing month I fall more and more in love with who God has created you to be. I also laugh more and more about what He wants to teach me about myself as I learn to parent you.

You are inquisitive and curious and incredibly intelligent. You soak up information like crazy, asking questions pretty much non-stop until you get all the details necessary to make your own opinions on subjects. At times we are dumbfounded with your questions and observations and wonder to ourselves how best to respond. In other moments it is all we can do to keep ourselves from busting at the seams as you piece facts together. "You got a BAJYNA, *babysitter*? A BAJYNA? You are a girl?!" Poor Daddy will never be able to forget that long, long car ride with our teenage sitter.

You are immeasurably sweet and caring and affectionate. If someone falls on the playground, you rush to their side with kind words, a hug or kiss, and an offer of a band-aid. You encourage your brother as he learns new skills with exuberance and effusive praise: "Oh, Samuel. I am SO proud of you! You rolled! You rolled, buddy!" You love to help me with your brother and are the best at running little errands and doing little projects around the house. Even as you grow tall and lean and long-legged in my arms, you still love to be snuggled, carried, hugged and kissed.

You delight in making jokes and find the thrill of laughter irresistible. All you have to do is don a pair of goggles and instantly your face finds comedic charm and your body starts in with physical humor. Your squeals of excitement at your own cleverness reveal a confidence that is deep, deep within. That is what we love about you, Maddie--even if we didn't laugh at your jokes (and we do), you would find yourself absolutely hilarious.

It's hard to believe you start school in just a few short weeks. But you've definitely outgrown the nursery. At church on Sundays some have taken to lovingly calling you "boss" because you have so many ideas for games and entertainment, and yet so little cooperation from the babies. You are imaginative and energetic and creative. All day long you are making up little conversations between your toys, setting up scenarios for the stuffed animals, throwing tea parties for Samuel's chew toys and play dancing around the house.

Once you are in a classroom, I imagine your intelligence, curiosity, creativity and imagination will flourish. You will love having kids your own age to play with and alongside of you. Undoubtedly you will meet your match in some feisty and fun classmate and you will be fast friends, because you are friends with everybody.

Tonight I watched you run around at the Neighborhood BBQ, smiling and laughing and entertaining everyone with your sociable nature "Hi! What's your name? What are you eating? I'm Maddie. I like cookies. Why you eating that?" Each week our neighbors comment on what a sweet and beautiful girl you are, and your Daddy and I just smile and nod. We know, Miss Maddie, we know. We understand more than anyone what an amazing, precocious, precious and lovable girl you are.

Before I know it, you will be three, and the days known as the "twos" will be far behind us. While in many respects I will be relieved to move beyond the melodrama and loudly-point-out-the-obvious-and-awkward stages, I will miss these last months of Summer at home, just the three of us, making our own adventures, laughing at our own inside jokes, twirling feather boas and donning beaded necklaces, dancing around the house, singing at the top of our lungs.

You are a remarkable child, Madeleine Noelle. Thank you for teaching me each day how to be a better person by increasing my patience, my love, my creativity, challenging my mind and expanding my heart. I love you.



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