You are nine years old today. This seems strange to say since for the last long while I have been saying that you are almost nine. You are such a grown up girl in so many ways that sometimes we think of you as older than you really are. But officially today you are nine and we are thrilled to celebrate all nine years of you.
You are my voracious reader. This year found you hauling massive volumes of Harry Potter to and from school. I never have to make you read. You’re so imaginative and I frequently find you lost in a story. I hope you always love reading as much as you do now.
You are still my little artist. You can knit, paint, sculpt, design, color and draw just about anything. Your drawings of cupcake cartoons are fantastically funny. I frequently find you sitting quietly at your desk in your room just creating away. You never ask for ideas or look to see what others have done. You just do your own thing and its always a little bit magical.
Movie nights, Harry Potter, pandas, Calico Critters, Legos, interior design, crafts, baking, game nights, and being with your family are just some of your favorite things. Even your favorite things are sweet and fun. You are just a fun kid to be around.
You have such a tender heart, Maddie. So often you have this fairly tough exterior. Someone might tease you and for a while you can take it. But there are days when it just sinks in and you come to me with a slightly bruised heart. Most of our conversations are about relationships. I struggle to teach you how to be kind and compassionate without being a doormat. But I’m so proud that you just keep trying. You never give up. And you really truly want to be friends with everyone.
You absolutely adore little children. You beg to be on duty in the nursery as often as possible. You delight in watching over your littlest cousins. You are so attentive and the joy on your face as you play with them and entertain them is so sweet.
I remind you frequently that you have a best friend for life in your sister. The two of you have sleepovers in each other’s rooms pretty much every night. You are closer than I probably even realize. We hear you giggling late into the night. I love the bond you have with Reagan. And even though the two of you don’t always get along perfectly, for the most part you are an amazing team.
Not to be forgotten is your love for your little brother. He loves you so much. You always agree to take him to the park. If anyone will crawl around on the floor and play tractors with him it will be you. You make him laugh and play with him and watch over him all at the same time. I love that you always offer to read a book to him. He will have the best memories of the time you spent with him.
At the beginning of this year, I took my first overnight trip away from you. It was good for both of us and it was also hard for both of us. We have quite a bond, you and I. I feel so loved by you and I try every day to make you feel just as loved. I’m so glad we have that together. So many times when I hug you I find you holding on as though you never want to let go. That’s the feeling in my heart too. I want to keep you forever.
God knew what he was doing when he gave us you, Maddie girl. We need your spunk and your sweetness. We need your artistic eye and your humor. We need your tender attention and your many hugs. We wouldn’t be the family we are without you. You were our smallest baby but your impact has been so wonderfully great. We could never have known the tremendous gift of love and light that you would be to us in just your first 9 years of life.
The way you love others reminds me of Jesus. You are so giving and so fiercely determined to forgive. God’s gentleness, creativity and mercy lives in you. You are a picture of God’s hand in my life. I hope that as you grow you are able to see Him more and more. He’s got great plans for you and He’s already begun to work them out.