Eight whole years old already. Today I watched some videos of you when you were just three. Its amazing to see that same little girl shining through in the beautiful young lady you are today. Let me tell you a little bit about you.
Creativity is your jam. You love to color, to draw, to paint. You have such an eye for beauty and design. I enlisted your help in decorating our living room bookshelves recently and you astounded me with your eye for placement and balance. Sometimes I will find you just quietly coloring or drawing in your room. When we do something crafty you never ask for ideas or help. You just inherently know what to do and it always turns out beautifully. You colored this gorgeous Christmas tree this December at school. It took you longer than everyone else in the class, but when it was done it was a sight to behold. This is so you. You do not rush and you do your work well.
Your creativity is not limited to works of art. You are also a tremendous actress. I’ve heard that at school you are quiet and calm and almost reserved. The opposite is true at home. You can be so very silly and outlandish that I often call you a muppet.
School is not a challenge for you, academically speaking. Your reading abilities are years ahead of your grade level. I never worry about you getting good grades or passing a hard test. You just work at it and catch concepts quickly. And all that is nice, but what I love is how you care to help the other kids in your class when they need help.
Friend-wise this was a harder year for you. Your best friend moved away and it left you with some questions about what to do with that void. Many times you worried that you had no friends. But every time I see you with your class someone is giving you a hug or greeting you with a smile and a shout. I can see how all these other kids love being your friend and that makes me happiest of all.
Girl, you love getting dressed up. I never really know what you will wear on days when it is up to you to pick out an outfit. Most Saturdays you make an amazing fashion statement. You love to change your earrings to match your outfit. You have no interest in looking sporty. You want to wear long flowy dresses and great twirling skirts. You have a pair of high heels that you think are the greatest thing on earth. And you love having your hair done up in braids or buns or high ponytails. You are really really fun to dress and shop with.
This year in particular you have taken more of an interest in playing with little kids. You love to be in the nursery at church. You are unfailingly patient with little ones, including your brother. He adores you for your patience and willingness to do what he wants to do. Sometimes you dig in the dirt with him. Sometimes you create a massive tent to share with him. Sometimes you crawl on your knees to play with tractors with him. You are an amazing big sister.
You are also an amazing little sister. As the years have gone on it is sometimes more challenging for you to not feel threatened or shadowed by your big sister. Reagan gets to do all things first and sometimes that rubs you the wrong way. But she has a love for you that runs deep and true. When you struggled to find someone to play with at recess, she played with you. You love to have sleepovers in each other’s rooms. You love to color in your Harry Potter coloring books together. You love to play legos together. The two of you are a great pair – both strong in your own way and so similar but yet so different.
You are effortlessly beautiful and sweetly vivacious. You do not overwhelm others with words but come alongside with a servant heart. You have so much control of your emotions at school but we see the highs and lows at home where you feel safest. You love to laugh and to smile. You adore your Aunt Amy. You love to bake and to watch home decorating shows. You love skittles and M&Ms. You like school but still love being home with me. You love to snuggle.
Maybe these letters sound the same year after year. But each year I see a little more of your personality shine through and I can glimpse a little better the lovely woman you will one day be. I’m excited for your tomorrows, Maddie. I celebrate 8 years because with you those 8 years have been so sweet. I’m not sad when I look back on videos of you when you were little. There were so many moments in the past 8 years that were so fun and sweet with you – I can’t be sad about all the good that we have enjoyed because of you.
I became your Mom thinking, hoping and praying to mold you and make you into a wonderful person. But God had already put all this wonderfulness inside of you and I find myself being molded and shaped by you. You teach me how to love better, more intentionally and with more patience. You are a gift.
Do you know how much I love you? Have you glimpsed it in big and small ways these last 8 years? I have wrapped up my love in so many moments and hugs and notes and tucked them all in your heart. I hope you trust it there always. I hope you always rest in knowing how cherished you are. I hope you trust in the way God does good and wonderful work. You are proof of His goodness and love to me. What a joy you are to His heart and mine.
I love you Maddie girl.