Seven. Seven whole years. Seven years of sweet and spunky you.
We call you “Fluffy”, though I don’t think you love that nickname all the time. It’s because of your hair. It has always been, and continues to be, wispy and light, though now it is very very long. And yet, there’s something more about that nickname that fits you. You are light and bright with a soft heart and a larger than life personality.
Your very best friend continues to be your big sister. Because she is the oldest, she gets to do ALL THE THINGS first. This does not always sit well with you. You try so hard to keep up with her, to follow in her footsteps, and it is a little bit surprising just how well you do. And though the two of you are so very very different, there are still some wonderful similarities. You love to play legos together, or to play outside together, or to simply sit around and laugh. But let’s keep this real – you have your fair share of disagreements. You are no pushover, but you are pretty cooperative and easy-going. I would no longer claim that you idolize Reagan. You love her and you like playing with her, but you are quite happy to go and do things your own unique way, too.
And then there’s Hunter. Goodness you love that boy. You will so often crawl around on the floor, playing tractors with him, simply because you delight in being with him. He makes you laugh. A lot. At many inappropriate times. Mostly you laugh just because you think he’s cute. You love reading books to him. You love to give him hugs that last longer than he wants them to. You love to help him with anything and everything. This past year has been one where you have stepped up into a more involved roll in his life and I like that he so very often asks for you. He knows you love him and when he needs someone to comfort him or defend him or help him, he seeks you out.
I couldn’t possibly sum up just how much you have grown intellectually this year. We started the year with you desperately wanting to read chapter books. All of a sudden something just clicked in you and you took off. You read the entire Mercy Watson series. And then the entire Junie B. Jones series. And now you’re burning your way through the whole Boxcar Children series. I am amazed at not just your ability, but your passion and love of reading.
You continue to be my little artist. If there is a poster project at school, I can bet that yours will be the last one to be finished because you spent hours and hours just coloring it all so perfectly. You like to color or draw while we read Harry Potter at night. Your creativity is deep and effortless. And yet, you like order. You have a dollhouse that is always set up just so. You enjoy sorting through and organizing your desk drawers. You keep your room neat and tidy and your bed is always made perfectly every morning. You also love home remodeling and redecorating shows which has been a fun thing we’ve enjoyed together.
You are not perfect, dear sweet girl. You are wonderful and gifted and smart-as-a-whip, but there are still things that cause you struggles. Even so, you are a delight. You are so effortlessly beautiful and bright (unless you are scowling, in which case you are ferocious). Your emotions run high and low and there are times we are all a little overwhelmed by the ups and downs. You needlessly worry and fear more than I wish you would about being cared for and loved and looked after. You sometimes sleepwalk and scare the living daylights out of me. Long car rides are just not your thing, girlfriend.
But every day when I see your smile, your light-up-the-room bright-eyed beautiful smile, I am reminded again and again that God is truly good. Because He made you and you are just a deep well of joy.
As you grow braver and braver all the time, I know that you will look and see Him walking with you. Oh Maddie girl, you are never alone. Right now you want me with you all the time and that is something I am treasuring and storing in my heart. I’m guessing there will be a day when you are less inclined to hold my hand or give me those four big goodbye hugs (it’s okay if you never grow out of that though).
You are just beginning to stretch your wings a little bit – little test flights here and there. And you always come back to make sure I am watching you – to make sure I am there in case you need me. And yes, yes I am. But darling girl, HE is the gentle breeze beneath your wings. I am merely the one who is teaching you what it is to take the risk to jump and then to enjoy it when you find Him lifting, guiding and easing you along.
So go ahead, little (not so little) one. I’m watching you learn what you were made to do and I’m loving every minute.
I love you so, my Maddie girl.