Today marks four fabulous years of you. The time has gone quickly, but to me you’ve seemed like a four year old for a while now. This past year with you was, as usual, an entertaining experience. Let me tell you a little bit about you.
I can’t remember when exactly it happened, but the princess bug bit you and your sister and you care for little else. The two of you pretend to be princesses. You are always Belle and Reagan is always Aurora. You love Belle’s yellow dress and her princess hair. You watch Beauty and the Beast often and have every single song and speck of dialogue memorized. Incidentally, so do I. We often end up singing one of the random songs together or reenacting one of the scenes from the movie. You wear either dresses or skirts all the time, though you claim to also love blue jeans.
By the way, you and your singing!! Maddie, you sing through all your waking hours. When Reagan is at school, you are left at home to play by yourself and I frequently hear amusing ballads floating up to me from the playroom. One of my favorite was: “I love God the most, but I also love cookies.” You sing about eating lunch. You sing about coloring a picture. You sing about pajamas. You sing about Hunter. It’s mostly original compositions with a few snippets of Belle thrown in for fun. I love your songs. It makes me think your heart must be happy, because your songs are so lighthearted and joyful.
We started your third year with a little baby in Mom’s tummy. You were mildly interested, but it was a pretty out-of-sight happening so it really didn’t overwhelm you. And then about a week before Christmas, you came to the hospital to meet your new brother. I will never ever ever as long as I live forget the looks on your faces as you and Reagan came in the door, each clinging to one of Daddy’s hands, and stepped close to my hospital bed to see the new little guy in our family. The smile that overtook your face was absolutely radiant. Over the next few weeks, you slowly warmed up to little Hunter. And Maddie, can I just tell you that you are the most wonderful big sister to him. You are so kind, and thoughtful, and caring, and patient. You love to sing to him (of course you do) and you absolutely INSIST that he sit by you in his bouncy seat at lunch and supper. You call him “buddy” or “boy” all the time. So much so that I’m not entirely sure you remember his name. And he adores you. The smiles he gives you are so soft and sweet and endearing. You know when he smiles at you like that that he loves you.
Yes, with a big sister and a little brother, you have lots of sibling happenings. You and Reagan love to play together and you are such good friends. It’s not perfect, of course. There are squabbles and fights and disagreements and hurt feelings and tears. But you really do love one another and are very thoughtful of each other.
Even though you are sweet and fun, you are absolutely no pushover. You have a stubborn will above and beyond what I expected from you. We were having a really hard time finishing up all the potty training. Finally we decided to just back off and see what would happen. And you pretty much did the rest yourself. You love your independence.
We did “tot school” together this year. You know all your letters and can write your name. You LOVE tot school and are almost always a little put out when we are done. You also go to Coffee Break (Little Lambs) and Sunday School (Kids of the Kingdom) once a week and seem to like that too. You are a little reluctant to go at first because you don’t want me to leave you, but you always have a big smile when I pick you up. You are also an impressive artist. What you can do with watercolors is pretty cool. You also color in the lines (have for quite some time) to the point where I sometimes have trouble figuring out if you or Reagan colored a picture (and she’s a good colorer too). We are nearly drowning in your masterpieces by now.
You and I, we spend every single day together. There has not been one single day of your life where we haven’t been together. When I was at the hospital with Hunter, you came to see me each day. But the last day you didn’t visit because I was coming home that night. Grandma said that sometimes you would just stop and cry a little bit because you missed Mommy. And I missed you. We butt heads sometimes, but really we enjoy each other’s company so much. I pray it will always be at least a little like this.
Before you were born, I worried that I wouldn’t love you enough. I worried that Reagan had maybe taken up such a big place in my heart that there wouldn’t be enough room for you. But in four years, you and I have bonded very strongly. And I absolutely adore you. Over and over again you have been such a joyful and peaceful presence in my life. You are so often calm when I am not. Often at lunch you pray for me and thank God that I take care of you. You give wonderful tight hugs at night and tell me you love me. And though I think you are very smart for your age, you are also wonderfully vibrant and warm and kind.
I have loved my four years with you. I pray for so many more. And I just know, Maddie girl, that you are going to bless others. I know that you are going to calmly walk into a room and slowly warm it with your smile and your silliness and your joy. It’s so easy to be around you because you are so joyful. I love that about you. I hope and pray that light spirit always stays with you – because I know Who gave it to you. He gave you to me and I am immeasurably blessed.
Happy Birthday sweet Maddie Grace. I love you so.