Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maddie: 4 1/2 Years (or 54 Months)

My dearest sweet pea tan buns,

Four and a half years old! How is it possible?! I can't imagine having a five year-old. That sounds so grown up to me. So let's just keep you here, shall we? Forever 4 1/2. You are articulate, fun, opinionated, feisty, single-minded, affectionate, intelligent, winsome and curious. Your heart is full of love. You are kind to your brother and a friend to everyone. You ask the most thoughtful and insightful questions.

The downside of 4 1/2: sassiness. The never-ending sass keeps me on my knees in prayer for patience and wisdom. You are trying out new ways of talking, introducing new concepts, saying new "naughty" words, and conversing with me just all too casually. Let's just say we've become good friends with the tabasco sauce in the pantry.

You are incredibly independent. You get yourself dressed, brush your teeth and wash your face, brush your hair (sort of), fill your own water glass, clear your dishes, load the dishwasher, feed the dog, help dress your brother, pour milk and cereal without spilling, and can almost buckle yourself in the car. It's very, very helpful. You love to help and will even wash the floor or dishes if asked. You also love to assist in the kitchen, stirring and mixing batters, spicing dishes, and coming up with your own little creations. (Fruit soup, anyone?)

You love to sing and dance. In the picture above you sang all the way back from the barn, holding a flower in your palms, repeating over and over the healing incantation from Rapunzel. "Flower bloom and grow, make your powers shine..." At Mel's house you put on a ten-minute hula show for us, clad in grass skirt, coconut bra and shell lei. I was the drummer, beating my ukelele faster and faster as your hips shook. My cheeks seriously ached from smiling so big and for so long. You were awesome.

You take after your Daddy in so many ways. You LOVE to fish and to Daddy's great delight, landed four of your own trout on our recent fishing trip. You held the rod, set the hook, reeled the fish in, and proudly posed for pictures. Sam wasn't so much interested; but you, you were head-over-heels excited about trout. You are also like your father in intensity and single-mindedness. When you learned there were crawdads in the stream behind our house, you reminded us approximately every 2-3 minutes until we finally took you down. You intently studied the water, caught crawdads, helped boil the little buggers, and swallowed them down. First thing the next morning, when I asked you what you wanted to eat, you replied, "Let's go catch some crawdads for breakfast."

You are flexible and easygoing. Throughout our entire trip you awed us with your adaptability. Nap or no nap, late to bed or right on time, you went with the flow. At times it was clear you were tired but you rallied in all sorts of situations in order for fun to be had. You were also a great help with your brother, encouraging him, helping out, holding his hand and taking him on all kinds of adventures.

Every day you act more and more like a big girl. You use big words, tell large stories, employ all sorts of mannerisms that you didn't learn at home. You are seriously one of the most animated and expressive kids I know. You could be in the movies, what with your funny faces, crazy looks, and silly body language. You are like a walking, talking cartoon, full of energy and comedy.

All in all, you're a great kid. You bring so much joy and intensity to our house. You feel things deeply, experience life fully, and love whole-heartedly. You are passionate and caring, gentle yet strong, funny, sweet, and daring. Thanks for making me a Mama and continuing to stretch me as I, too, grow up into the person God's created me to be. I wouldn't be who I am today without you!



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