Friday, September 14, 2012

Maddie: 68 Months

Dear Madeleine Noelle,

How do I begin your monthly letter when it feels like you've done a year's worth of growing up since my last update? In a few weeks, you've changed dramatically. I write this downstairs, in the morning, as you brush your hair in front of the upstairs mirror, commenting to anyone and no one, "my hair is so straight, and so nice, and so smooth. It's so easy to get the tangles out!" Next you'll get dressed on your own, in an outfit of your choosing. In a few short hours you'll be skipping into your K classroom, making eye contact until the last possible minute, smiling and blowing kisses. Then I'll watch you as long as I can, your tote bag swinging, bob bouncing.

I was sure I'd cry that first day of K, but I didn't at all. Much like my wedding day, the incredible joy, excitement and anticipation of the day left no room for tears. I was happy beyond words. It was one of my all-time favorite days.

The tears come now, weeks later, when I'm by myself and marveling at all you've become in 5 1/2 years: this spunky, confident, curious, compassionate, brave, incredible girl. We couldn't be more excited about who you are right now, nor more confident in who God is shaping you to be. You're more wonderful and complex than I ever could have imagined, years ago, rocking in your nursery, hugging my swollen belly that contained all you would someday be.

with your cousin Russell in Carmel Valley

Not that it's been an easy transition. You are complex and sensitive, and therefore transitions are tough. There were a few major meltdowns that first week, times when I could do nothing more than hold you, kiss your face, wipe your tears, and remind you of who you are. It was all I could do to repeat over and over the truth of who God has created you to be and the value you have as his beloved child. At times the truth doesn't stick, but then there are other moments when it's clear you've been listening.

Case in point: earlier this month, we were headed to a playdate when Sam started to worry. He was processing out loud that some older boys tell him he's "not a big boy," and it was clear that he was feeling anxious. Maddie chimed right in, "Sam," she said with compassion, "it's not what others say about you that matters. You know why? Because God loves you! He loves you so much he sent Jesus to die on the cross for you. He forgives all your sins! What matters most is that God loves you, not what other people say about you." As my daughter spoke the truth of God is Glorious to my son, my eyes filled with happy tears. There is honestly no joy like the joy of hearing your child speak gospel truth with love, with conviction, and with compassion. In just a few short sentences, I witnessed the truth of the goodness of Christ wash over Sam as he trusted the words of his big sister. So, so good.

I continue to pray, each and every day, that you would know your exceeding worth and value in the person and work of Christ. It is my hope that you will have confidence and grace in your uniqueness, that you will see and appreciate the worth of each person you meet, that you will extend your classic Maddie grace and compassion in a way that reflects the goodness and truth of the gospel. I know that none of this is easy, by any means, but through the work of Christ it is indeed possible!

I love you, my darling and delightful Kindergartner.

Much Love,


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