Dear Madeleine Noelle,
Hard to believe that today you are FOUR YEARS OLD. It seems like just yesterday that I went into the hospital, round and swollen, sore and done, ready to finally meet the girl I'd been waiting for. It seemed like the world stopped when you were placed in my arms. All my life my greatest dream was to be a Mama to someone. When you were born, that dream came true. You are still a dream come true, Miss Maddie, and the best daughter a Mama could hope for.
Through the years you've developed your very own personality, desires, sense of style, and characteristics that make you the delightful girl you are. You are thoughtful and kind, smart and passionate, articulate and conversational. You love to dress up, draw, be creative and sing and dance. You keep me laughing constantly with the things you say. My heart is filled up with love when you sing your made-up songs about Jesus.
Along the way you've made some fabulous friends. Kate and Nicole are two of the sweetest, kindest, most easy-going friends a girl could have. I love to see you play together, whether with babies, Mr. Potato Head, musical instruments, tea sets, or suitcases. You are so fortunate to have such close, amazing friends at such a young age, and it is my hope that you are dear friends for years to come.
You are creative, zany and sometimes downright ridiculous. You love to be the center of attention and will do all sorts of funny things to make us laugh or distract us from feeling bad. You love to sing songs and perform. Your preschool teacher told me a sweet story from school this week. You were dressed up as an angel, holding "baby Jesus," when you started to sing notes. Higher and higher your voice sang, more and more angelic, as students stopped what they were doing to turn toward the sweet voice. I think all the teachers fell a little bit more in love with you that day.
You are a kind, compassionate, generous and loving big sister. Oftentimes I am just in awe of how careful, tender and giving you are. Once when I was remarking to a friend and fellow mom what good friends you and your brother continue to be, she blessed me so much by saying that it's possible for siblings to be best friends. They don't have to be constantly fighting. And as the days and months go by, this continues to be true. The two of you treat each other with such sweet, gentle kindnesses. You are affectionate, trading hugs and kisses, pat-pats and little back rubs. I am confident that the kindness, gentleness and compassion I see your brother exhibiting is due in large part to just how sweet you are with him.
Your mind is one giant playground these days, fueling imaginative play and creating all sorts of fun scenarios that stretch even your Mama's abilities. In preschool this week you dressed as a robot bride and recited vows in a monotone, robotic voice. One of your favorite birthday presents is a large art jar filled with pipe cleaners, googly eyes, tissue paper, sparkles, glitter, glue, and all sorts of little goodies. I can't wait to see what creations arise out of our art times together! We love to take part in your imaginary games and enjoy playing the roles you readily give out.
If I could pick one thing that really stands out from this year, it would be your budding faith and relationship with Jesus. After making a decision a few months ago to put your trust in Jesus, you have astounded me with the prayers you offer and the wisdom you display. Your understanding of complicated theological issues is no doubt pleasing to your Dad and amazes us. We never tire of answering your questions about God as we tuck you in each night. (I think you know how eager we are to discuss these matters and use them to your advantage, putting off bedtime as we lay in bed and consider how great our God truly is!)
Sweet girl, happiest of birthdays to you. I pray that you remember this day fondly, feeling loved, admired, cherished and celebrated. You are such a joy in our lives.