Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maddie: 43 Months

Dear Maddie,

Yesterday you turned the ripe old age of 43 months, one month past 3 1/2 and that much closer to 4. It was a day full of Maddie-isms, laughter and amazement at not only what you say, but how much you are capable of doing.

You continue to be our extrovert extraordinaire, thriving on a busy schedule rife with play dates, visits to the park, errands, pool days, and an endless stream of "what's next?" Your best friends continue to be Nicole and Kate, two of the sweetest girls I know. I couldn't have picked better friends for you, nor could I have predicted that you would get along so fabulously with the girls of the moms that I love. You still consider yourself an Eakin and are always asking to see some combination of the Holbrook, Eakin and Larson families.

It seems like every day you surprise me with something that you can do. We have fallen into such a predictable routine that I often just start in when you ask me to stop, assuring me you can do it yourself. Just last week it was buttoning every single button on your jammies, four small, tightly sewn ones. I had no idea you could! You love to pick out outfits and dress yourself, oftentimes quite sensible and matching, other times hilariously wrong in so many ways. In the photo above, you insisted on wearing the dress backwards and presented me with no fewer than fourteen butterfly clips and barrettes with which to fasten up your hair.

Your fine motor skills and creativity never cease to amaze me. You love, love, love to dive into an art project with gusto and imagination. I was astounded one morning when you took the above scrap of paper and decorated it with palm trees, sand and the ocean water. You proudly displayed it for the camera, narrating with joy the visage of Hawaii. It hangs proudly on the bulletin board, your most accurate drawing to date.

You love to dress up and be fancy. Thank goodness for our next door neighbor, her full-time job, and endless supply of beautiful work clothes and shoes for you to admire and try on. She was more than happy to offer up these fashionable shoes at the end of a long Friday last week. You danced around the neighborhood BBQ with your usual flair, making everyone laugh and smile and admire the sweet and vivacious girl we know so well.

One day this month we raised the seat on your bike and as you pedaled away, I couldn't believe how big you were. It was like watching someone else's four or five year-old riding away. You are so long and lean and strong. Don't even get us started on your tan lines this summer, which only accentuate and lengthen. Our favorite farmer at the market yesterday asked if you were five yet. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Some days I just want to freeze you at this stage.

You are silly, constantly cracking us up, whether intentionally or just as a byproduct of your imagination, zaniness, and lack of restraint. There is a story that will not be published on this blog involving the proper names of certain anatomical features; let it suffice to say that for weeks after, every time I thought of said conversation, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. It was with great relief I read a recent baby center update that outlined the obsessive and repetitive nature of kids your age, and your tendency to repeat "sensitive material," much to the chagrin of parents everywhere.

You are becoming more and more aware of issues of a spiritual nature, asking all sorts of questions. We are constantly entering into these deep theological discussions involving the size and invisibility of God and whether or not there are potties in heaven. One night we sang the song with the lyrics "Jesus, your name is like honey on my lips, your spirit like water to my soul, your word is a lamp unto my feet, Jesus we love you, we love you." A few minutes later we went to pray and you shouted out with glee, "Jesus, we were just singing about you!"

One of my all-time favorite moments of the past month (and maybe the past year) occurred during our recent week at Family Camp. Every day you attended camp for a few hours in the morning and then again at night after dinner. When I went to pick you up from "night class," as you called it, you refused to come out, screaming, crying big tears, and running away from me as all the waiting kids and parents looked on. I felt horrible. Once I finally got you out and into my arms, I snuggled and held you, asking what could be going on, knowing this behavior was so unlike you (even if it was over an hour past your bedtime). We finally got the answer: you were so upset we would pick you up and take you back to sleep in our room when all the other kids got to spend the night! You calmed down once we explained that 3 and 4 year-olds do not get to stay overnight with the counselors. We even stopped to show you all the other parents walking back with their kids, assuring you that one day you will get to do overnight camp. The only other time you cried at camp is when you realized you weren't big enough to ride the zip line. What we have on our hands is an extremely social, active and brave girl.

You are tender, kind and loving. You are a good friend, a sweet big sister, and most of the time thoughtful, considerate and gracious. You are also strong-willed, obstinate, and full of energy, character traits which will no doubt one day make you a fine woman capable of making decisions as well as a gifted leader. I must keep reminding myself of these things. Daily. Hourly. Minutely.

It's been a fun month, my dear, and by this time next month you will be off to preschool again. Thanks for filling my Summer with adventure, sweet memories, and love. Looking forward to the seasons ahead.



1 comment:

mel @ the larson lingo said...

We love you Maddie & are so thankful to have you & your family in our lives!