Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maddie: 51 Months

Dear Maddie-Lou Who,

Tonight you came down the stairs in your polka dot nightgown, hair disheveled and eyes sleepy, and climbed on the couch between your Daddy and I as we watched Idol on DVR. You sat for a few seconds, blinking silently, until you smiled sweetly, kissed my arm, and let us know you'd be hanging out for a few minutes. Though the day's shenanigans had left me feeling like the grinch at bedtime, how could I say no when with a simple little look you make my heart grow three sizes?

And that, my dear, sums up the past month of life in our house. One minute you make me absolutely crazy with your sassiness, bossiness, and constant tattling. The next minute you make up a song about Jesus, tell a story just so, or kiss your brother gently and sweetly, melting my heart and making me fall deeper in love with you. Four is at times impossible and others, impossibly wonderful. This motherhood business is hard work, no getting around it.

You have an opinion on just about everything. You love to share your thoughts, feelings and perceptions of the world with us, whether we are listening or not. You are constantly talking, morning 'til night, telling stories, singing songs, admonishing bad behavior, recalling memories, talking back, giving feedback, speaking your mind, and tenderly loving.

You are positively hilarious, making me laugh multiple times a day. Just today, I was singing the song "I will change your name." You asked me, "Why would Jesus change his name?" I explained the song is about God's love actually changing who we are, for example, from broken to confident. You thought for a minute, then asked with no hint of jest, "Well, maybe he would change my name to Maddie Toilet Joyce?"

Earlier this week we were going fishing and your Daddy asked if you wanted to pray and ask God to help catch some fish. In the sweetest voice possible, you asked that God would help us catch one million, one hundred fish, just like he had helped Peter and John.

This week I've had a bad cold and yesterday was especially rough. As I laid on the couch with my tissues nearby, you brought me a plate of fruit (washed and peeled). You also made Sam breakfast, poured yourself a drink of water, and covered me with a blanket while I napped. Every twenty minutes or so you would check in, see how I was feeling, and softly touch my head with your hands. My goodness, you will be a wonderful Mama someday.

It's hard to believe you're almost through with your second year of preschool. Next year it's pre-K, five days a week! You will be in heaven having school every day. You are such an eager, disciplined learner. You soak things up like a sponge and practice skills over and over until you've mastered something. These days you love to draw people, flowers and scenery. However, you are somewhat of a perfectionist, ripping entire pages out when they aren't quite right, throwing your hands up in frustration, and yelling until we figure out a plan for trying again.

There are so many things I love about you right now. You are funny and engaging, smart and loveable. You are kind and gentle, forgiving and gracious. You make friends everywhere we go and constantly reach out to kids who are crying, hurting, or sad. Your prayers are heartfelt, honest, and spirit-filled. You are incredibly patient and unbelievably kind to your brother, who is constantly trying to make your life crazy.

You are such a delight, and though most nights I am tired beyond belief, it is with great joy that I wake each morning to your talkative, curious, happy little face. Thank you for reminding me the importance of learning each day, loving with one's whole being, asking the important questions, and dancing whenever possible.



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