Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Maddie: three and a half

Sweet Madeleine...(ba bum bum bum)

Good times never seemed so good!

3 1/2 is so much fun. In fact, the picture below perfectly captures who you are at this point in time: playful, joy-filled, imaginative, determined, focused, somewhat impractical and quite silly. You are full of zest, loaded with personality, and the most naturally funny and clever person I know.

From sun up to sun down, basically you never stop talking, unless one of the two things are going on: 1) you feel nauseous and are about to barf (as found out last week), or; 2) the T.V. is on. You are, should we say, a chatterbox. As it turns out, both your Daddy and I were both incessant talkers as children, so it makes sense that at least one of our children would carry the characteristic (Sam has yet to make his oratory debut).

Physically, you are capable of so much. You climb trees, ride a bike, run, gallop, pump on the swing, jump long distances, and can even do jumping jacks. You've mastered the Holbrooks' rope swing, fireman's pole at the park, three-wheeled scooter, mini cooper, and you can even push your brother in a swing.

In addition, you are working very hard on your letters, able to trace and sometimes write your own name. You are fiercely determined to master new skills but grow easily frustrated by difficulty. If you're going to do it, you want to do it e x a c t l y right. This makes for excellent mastery but quite a hair-raising process.

You are extremely confident and self-assured, launching into performances for family and strangers alike, approaching groups of teenagers with ease and affability, and engaging just about anyone in in-depth conversation. It is a joy to watch you as you work a room, and girl, do you work it.

Speaking working it, you are a master negotiator. You weasel and talk your way through any situation with the conniving and amiability of a Washingtonian lobbyist. On vacation one night during dinner you proceeded to engage us in "potty talk," only to be quickly reminded that "the table is no place for such conversations." Without pause, you excused yourself from the table, stepped away but a few feet, and asked us, "How about now?" You continued to step further and further away, a knowing smile on your face, our very own Verizon guy, "How about now?" "And now?" "But I'm not at the table." It was one of those moments where I had to physically turn away from you, cover my face, and exchange glances with your similarly bemused father before producing any sort of controlled disciplinary response.

You possess an amazing, giving, generous heart. You are constantly sharing with your brother, offering him bites of delicious food and even taking turns with your most precious new toys. You respond with tenderness and compassion to physical and emotional hurts. You are quick to seek forgiveness and also to forgive. Many times you have amazed me by coming forward on your own to admit bad behavior, the angst written all over your face.

You continue to dress yourself, pick out your own shoes and accessories, and come down the stairs looking like something straight out of a Fancy Nancy story. If you had it your way, you would wear a fancy dress every day, with flip flops (but that is only because you can't wear clip-clop shoes out of the house). You sit still while I brush your hair and love to wear it "all the way down."

Who knows what the future holds for you, whether you will wind up in congress fighting for human rights or traveling abroad to take care of "people without homes," becoming a preschool teacher or songwriter, poet or even Professional Fairy Princess Bike Rider?! One night we were talking about Daddy going back to work, Mama resuming her work in the home, and you surprised us by saying you needed to get back to work as well. Doing what, we asked, and you responded, "Taking care of the homeless people. Like Eskedar's dad, that's what I do."

Sweet Maddie, I love you so much it often hurts. My heart is so filled up with love for you and yet also so broken with compassion when you hurt or must learn a hard lesson. You have taught me the heights and depths of parental love. Thank you.



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