Thursday, March 14, 2013

Maddie: 74 Months

Dear Madeleine Noelle,

Well, two months in, six is still my favorite. You are such a love. I keep joking that siblings should be six years apart because I am reminded daily that all that hard work from 0-5 is starting to pay off! You are centered. You are helpful. You are kind. You are fun. You are a delight to be around. 

Not that I'm taking all the credit. You have a marvelous personality. God has given you the most gracious, generous, & forgiving heart. It is constantly blowing my mind. Last month a new student joined your class, and without sharing details, I'll just say it's been an adjustment. This person has bullied you many times on the playground but you were determined to show him kindness. Last week, he sadly told you that no one wanted to be his friend, and you replied that you would be his friend.

When you told me this story, huge tears welled in my eyes. After you told me the things he had said and did to you (and other kids), I stopped engaging with him. I was holding a grudge, inwardly frustrated with and mad at this little boy who would be so unkind and hurtful toward others. But you kept finding ways to show him love and compassion. To the extent of forgiving it all in order to be his only friend at school. It still brings me to tears and reminds me of how much you have to teach me about life.

A few nights ago after softball practice we hung out with our friend's six month old. You stood for fifteen or twenty minutes, just watching him eat some yogurt, and you were in love. The smile on your face and the crinkles around your eyes made me SO excited for baby Evan to arrive.  You are going to be the BEST big, big sister that he will ever know. You are patient and kind to Sam. Just this morning he told you that you are helping him to "know everything." 

When you pass by the baby's bassinet, or ride in the car by the carseat, you remark how sad it makes you to have these "empty," and you can't wait for our boy to fill up our house. The way you anticipate him and verbalize your longings is so beyond your six years; it's as if you gave words to exactly the feelings I've been experiencing, this deep longing and anticipation for our home to be filled up with more love, with another baby, with a constant reminder of God's grace in our lives.

At your school conference this week, Mrs. L remarked on what a kind person you are, and what a great model student you are for all the kids in the class. She is so fond of you, that much is clear. We are SO impressed with how your reading has completely taken off. Everywhere we go you are reading signs and slogans, reminding us of the speed limit or when to stop. At night you read us long, complicated books without having to pause hardly at all. One day in the car I listened as you read a book about transformers to Sam, sounding out Optimus Prime and the like while substituting words and ideas with creativity when you couldn't figure things out. It was perfectly smooth, and Sam was never the wiser. It is your intelligence mixed with creativity that makes you so marvelous! You're not afraid to improvise when the need arises. 

I just never imagined or dreamed how fun it would be to watch my child grow and learn and mature. Every day I'm just in awe of what an amazing creature you are. From your athletic abilities to your brain, your sweetness to your charm, the way you can motivate kids of all ages to join in your games, how you make your Daddy crack up almost every day, the way you look at babies, how you find such joy and delight in Sam's naivete, the affection you bestow on friends and family...I could go on and on. It is truly such a gift to be your mom. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know that we have our moments (as well as days, weeks, and phases), but for now, I'm soaking up every second of your radiance. I'm in constant gratitude to God for making you into such a lovely human being. I weep tears of joy when I hear the heartfelt, earnest, faithful prayers you say each night. 

Thank you, Lord, for this indescribable gift. 



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