Dear Maddie Grace,
You are officially two years old today. This past year has been really truly one of the most fun years of my life because I was blessed to spend almost all of my time with you and your sister.
We have lots of fun nicknames for you: Maddie, Maddie girl, Maddie Grace, Mads (Reagan’s favorite), Maddie Mads, Biscuit, Cheeseburger and Guinea Pig Buns. Only when you are being naughty or not listening do you hear “Madison”. There are some days you hear “Madison” a lot.
In the past several months you have experienced a vocabulary explosion. Slightly slurred words pour forth from your small person on an increasingly frequent basis. I find this hilarious and wonderful and completely entertaining. Also, it’s extremely handy. Now, when I ask you a question, you are actually able to articulate the answer. You are certainly in sponge mode, where you listen to and absorb everything we say and repeat it back. The most notable example is last night when Reagan asked if the two of you would get a treat after supper and Daddy explained you could have one if you both ate your vegetables. You leaned across the table, looked your big sister in the eye and said with complete sincerity, “Eat your vegetables!”
You spend most of your day playing with Reagan and trying to play along with whatever she is doing. The two of you have lots and lots of picnics in the playroom. You also like to color together. Sometimes you just sit down and Reagan will “read” a book to you. You love books and our weekly trips to the library are especially exciting for you. Most of the time you get along with Reagan very well, though there are some moments of frustration here and there. And though you cause her some stress every now and then, I want you to know that your big sister absolutely adores you and cares about you so very very much. When we ask Reagan who her best friend is she tells us it’s you, her Maddie Grace. And that is absolutely true for both of you.
You absolutely adore animals as long as you don’t have to touch them. Doggies are your favorite, but you also love kitties. Walks with you are lots of fun because you scream out in glee every time you see a “BIRDIE” or a “DOGGIE” or a “SQUIRREL”. You cannot contain your excitement about seeing an animal.
You love to get dressed up. Every Sunday morning I put you in your little dress and fancy shoes and then put a headband and bow on your head. You immediately run to your Daddy saying, “Daddy! Daddy! Ta da!!” You love being fancy, watching your skirt twirl out around you and hearing your shoes click against the tile floor in the kitchen.
I don’t know if you really mean to be, but you are a little comedian. Almost every evening you turn on the charm for us and you are completely silly and hilarious. You run around the house and do little tricks or stunts that make us shake our heads and laugh.
You are an extremely shy little girl. When we go to church you spend most of the time burying your face in my neck. It takes you a while to warm up to other people. You even get nervous if Grandpas and Grandmas come over to our house and will demand that we hold you until you are absolutely certain that we won’t just up and leave. It’s clear to me that you are much more bashful than your big sister ever was. But that’s okay with me. In a strange selfish way I’m glad you prefer my company to that of anyone else’s.
You really do like to snuggle and I’m trying to enjoy this time while I have it. Because I know you will grow up and the older you get the less snuggling you will need or want. For now, your little head snuggled on my shoulder is a sweet feeling.
Oh Maddie girl, you are a massive dose of sunshine to my soul. When you laugh or flash me that brilliant smile I feel joy bubble up inside of me. I spend a large portion of my day either tickling you to hear you laugh or kissing your sweetly chubby cheeks. I simply cannot get enough of either one.
You bring us a ridiculous amount of happiness little one. These are such precious days with you and your sister. I hope you are always have at least a small piece of this joy, this affection, this generosity and this sweetness in you. I know I will always carry my memories of you in my heart. You are an absolute treasure to me, to all of us. And I hope someday you can read this letter and though you won’t remember these days I pray you will know how deeply you were loved and cherished. Every day with you has been a display of God’s goodness and generosity and I am extremely grateful for them all.
I love you Maddie Grace. Thanks for being such a sweet gift.