Sunday, May 13, 2012


Dear Maddie,

 Three years with you has gone by in a flash. This past year has been pretty fun for our family, and that’s largely your fault.

 Most of the time, I had no idea why they called it the terrible twos. As a two year old, you were your typical spunky self – full of laughter, smiles and silliness. At times you could be very bashful - even with your grandparents and aunts and uncles. I would guess that most of them had a hard time believing some of the stories I told about you and your goofy ways. But you are most definitely our little comedian. You do not fully understand jokes, so you generally string together a random grouping of sentences or phrases and then laugh maniacally – indicating that you have just uttered a punch line which we should all find equally as hilarious. We laugh, oh we do. But most often we are laughing at your laughing. You see, you have developed the most fantastic fake laugh I have ever heard. It isn’t as much fake as it is forced, but it requires all of the muscles in your neck and jaw to strain and your eyes to open as wide as humanly possible.

Of course, it isn’t just your showmanship that has us laughing.  You have a vocabulary that’s extraordinarily impressive.  For example, this week you uttered the following phrase, “Definitely onions.  I definitely do not like onions!”  I blame such advanced conversational skills largely on your very verbal older sister.  There is nothing you cannot or will not say.  You are helped by your incredible memory.  If you hear a song one time, you are able to sing it again.  And again.  And again.  Of course then you start to use those melodies for your own lyrical purposes and we get some really great original renditions about everything under the sun. 

 Music plays no small part in our house. I suppose that’s not so surprising. You really love to sing. Specifically, you really love to sing with a microphone. If you do not have access to a microphone, you will simply pretend you are holding one. I cannot count how many times I have walked in your room after a nap and found you standing on your bed, pretend microphone in hand, belting out one of your original creations. You have several favorite songs: Today is the Day (Lincoln Brewster), Paradise (Coldplay), Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People), Beautiful Beautiful (Francesca Battistelli), Fine by Me (Andy Grammer), Until the Whole World Hears (Casting Crowns), Our God (Chris Tomlin) and so many more. I have attended several concerts put on by you and your big sister. Most often you play piano and sing and she handles the drumming, the trumpeting and the flute playing.

 You spend most of your day playing with Reagan. She started preschool which meant she was gone several afternoons while you napped. On the day we dropped her off, you asked me repeatedly where she was as we drove home. I told you several times that she was at school for a little while, and when that finally sank in, all you could do was sob quietly in your carseat. My heart broke for you because I know how much you love and adore Reagan. But since you still take afternoon naps, the pain was lessened a little bit. When Reagan is home the two of you usually play legos, princesses, dancing girls (Angelina Ballerina), picnic, restaurant, or (my personal favorite) vacation. Your idea of playing vacation is to take every available container or bag and stuff it completely full of every little thing you can find. Cleaning this up takes hours and you are almost assuredly too tired to help us.

One of my favorite things is listening to you pray.  For almost a whole year now you have been able to recite the Lord’s Prayer.  In addition, you have learned several other prayers which you love to recite and combine at will.  Sometimes we encourage you to just make up your own prayer and you pray for “Maddie and Reagan and all my friends in the world.”  

 You are also a fantastic colorer. You can count to 30. You know almost all of your letters and what sounds they make (though I never taught you a single one). You struggle sometimes with colors but are getting better all the time. You love to do flashcards at lunchtime. You are generally a picky eater, but always like veggies and fruits. You are completely daytime potty trained much to my shock and amazement. You want no help with anything except cleaning your plate at suppertime. You love to watch Veggie Tales and Curious George.

 There are so many more things I could tell you about you, but the best thing about you is how loving and sweet you are. You are definitely not a pushover and you have a stubborn little will that seems disturbingly familiar to me, but more than anything you love to love. I think you smile almost every minute of the day.

You truly know how to live life joyfully and you have reminded me countless times of the hundreds of simple goodnesses in my life.

We love you so much, Maddie girl. You are such a special gift and we are so very grateful for you.

 Happy Birthday sweet girl!

 Love, ~Mommy

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

This was darling! I just came to your blog to look at a reading list post I know you put up awhile ago, but I stopped at this because I missed it when you posted it! I loved hearing about your little Maddie, she is so sweet and into so many of the same things Ava adores too. Hard to believe they are all growing up so fast, didn't we both just have babies on our hands a few months ago?? Hope you had a great Memorial Day!