Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Dear Madeleine Noelle,

Three years ago, at 11:21 a.m., you made your quiet, sweet entrance into this world. You were pink and round with a full head of thick, dark hair. You blinked at us with those big eyes, charmed us with your dimpled chin, and won your way into our hearts in just moments.

Two years ago, you turned one. You were spirited and funny, loving, sassy, busy and hungry all the time.

By the time we cut the cake at your party, you were more than ready to dig in.

One year ago, you were hardly a baby anymore. You seemed so big, with your expansive vocabulary and endless chatter. You loved to dress up in fancy clothes and stay that way all day. You enjoyed playdates with friends and outings to the park.

We spent many hours outside, going for "ature" walks, collecting treasure, splashing in puddles and finding creatures. We whittled away the last few hours as a family of three, awaiting the birth of your baby brother.

And today, my sweet girl, you are three. No longer a baby or toddler, but bona fide, big B, big G, Big Girl. You go to school, attend "ballerina class" and even ride a bike. (That is the sound of your Mama sighing. This is going way too fast).

You still love all things "fancy" and dress up almost every day. You are quick to notice someone's accessories and comment appropriately. All princesses are friends or cousins to you; they are to be admired, adored, esteemed, imitated.

You are a born leader. You love to direct, lead, and engage others in play. We try to curb the bossiness and encourage leading by good example. It is clear that you have a charismatic and winsome nature that others respond to and we pray that your enthusiasm and love and compassion will encourage others.

You are amiable, making friends with everyone from a toddler on the playground to the "lovely-haired lady" at Target. Everyone we run into is greeted with, "What's your name? I'm Madeleine Noelle Joyce. That's my baby brother...." You are incredibly conversational and love to engage in long, drawn-out talks about anything and everything--homelessness, what trees are made of, jewelry, flatulence, friends.

You are gentle and kind-hearted. Your brother is the joyful recipient of much love, affection, and good deeds. You are quick to rush to his side when he is hurt or upset. You love to pick out toys for him to play with. Last week when I was sick in bed with mastitis, you climbed into the sheets ever so gently, climbed up by my head, ran your palm down the side of my cheek, and offered sweet words of love and tenderness. As your understanding of God has grown, you routinely ask for and offer prayers of healing.

You are always up for an adventure, whether trying a new food or hopping in the car to drive to a new location. You greet each new activity with excitement and joy. Though you no longer ask each morning, "What are we doing today?," it is assumed that the more we have planned, the happier you are. A true extrovert, you thrive in the presence of other people.

You are intelligent and observant. The questions you ask are thoughtful and demonstrate a keen interest in things. Many times you surprise us by bringing up a topic days, weeks, or months later, looking for clarification or deeper understanding. Last week when it was so cold your Daddy told you you couldn't wear a princess dress unless you wore leggings underneath. The thought of wearing pants with your dress was just too much and brought out the dragon beneath that generally sweet demeanor. Days later you posed a question to your Daddy, "Is it cold in Heaven?," to which he responded, "No, Maddie, it will actually be the perfect temperature all the time. Not too hot, not too cold." After a few moments of reflection, you said, "Well, I won't have to wear leggings under my princess dresses then."

In the past year, God has taught me so much about who you are and how to be the parent you need. Above all else, one thing has been perfectly clear: I am to provide as loving, encouraging and secure a home as possible. I am to speak words of love and affection into your life each day, grounding you in the knowledge that no matter what, your Mama and your Father in Heaven will always, always love you.

And so last night as I tucked you in, we ended our day like we often do, lights off, snuggling beneath your covers, me praying over you and speaking words of affection and love into your ear. Last night it was, "God, I praise you for this sweet almost-three-year-old girl. She is a gift from you to me, a gift I get to enjoy each and every day. Amen. Maddie, I will always love you. Always! There is nothing you can do that will make me stop. I will always love you." As I spoke, you ended your day as you often do, a sweet smile making its way across your face as you basked in the love being poured out. Then you turned to me and said, "Mama, you are my forever friend."

Always and forever your friend, your greatest admirer, and,

Your Mama


mel @ the larson lingo said...

I am bawling. Beautiful words, as always! Happy 3rd Birthday Maddie! Kate & Claire are so lucky to have you as a friend. You are beautiful inside and out!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

p.s that little car is AWESOME!

bonnieb said...

Oh Becky, There may be days ahead that you are not her favorite friend but she will always be yours. What a wonderful relationship God has blessed you with. I am confident it will continue. love you both so much.