Friday, April 9, 2010


Dearest Madison,

One year ago, we welcomed you into our life...all 5 pounds, 10 ounces of you. You were so tiny - yet from the very beginning our love for you was so big! I remember feeling you in my arms, as light and small as holding a folded t-shirt and simultaneously feeling a weight in my heart that felt much heavier. There was an ability to love inside me that I did not recognize. I loved you simply because you were. I was bound to you in love as much as you were bound to me for your very life. You have changed our lives (and even us individually) in so many ways. You are our constant joy!

It is so hard for me when people ask what you're like or ask me to describe you - you are one complex little girl.

How can someone be so sweet and so rotten? You give the best hugs. I love when you throw your arms around my neck and say "ohhhhh". Your smile is infectious, and your eyes light up every time that gorgeous grin beams across your little face. You are such a sweetheart, but you are sneaky too. I can't help but to giggle a little when you mock my "NO"s with your "no no no". Or how you say "no no no" as you are doing something you're not supposed to be. It's as if you just acknowledging that it's not okay makes it okay.

You are falling in love with animals. Poppaw recently taught you to motion for a dog to come to you. Now, every time we see one, your reach your little arm out and make that motion with your hand. You also do it with cats, and as you make the motion, you say "cat, cat, cat". You get so excited when you actually get to pet them!

You are so incredibly friendly. This is probably my favorite thing about you! I hope you always stay this way. You just LOVE people. You are always smiling and waving and entertaining. You are such a ham! You got a Disney Princess Power Wheel for your birthday. While riding, you take your right hand off the wheel and wave and put it back and then take your left hand off the wheel and wave and put it back. You do this over and over. More Gramma says you're practicing to be a parade queen. You love "talking" on the phone. You smile so big when we let you - you've even starting participating in the conversation a little.

You are doing such a good job with communicating. You point a lot to let us know what you want. You're also signing "more". You have your own sign for "all done". You take both hands and put them out to the sides (like how I would motion "I don't know"). It's so cute! You do it every single time someone says "all done".

Your absolute favorite thing right now is books. You definitely get this love from Mommy and not Daddy. You will read (play with) with your books for the longest time. You just flip through the pages and point to the pictures and babble. We love it when you read to us! You also really love music. You love the Beatles, the Jackson 5, and the Beach Boys. You bounce and dance and sing along. You are such a happy little thing!

You aren't walking yet. You are cruising along the furniture, walls, doors, toys with ease. And you even do a pretty good job if we just hold onto you with one hand. However, you have yet to take more than just a few steps on a few occasions all by yourself. That's fine, though. Take all the time you need. You can already crawl nearly faster than I can run!

Happy 1st Birthday, my love! You are our blue-eyed, water-spashing, hello-waving, "cack cacking" (quack quacking) baby girl! As it's been said many times before, the days may be long, but the years are short. You have changed so much over the past year, and we know you will be changing even more over the next one. Can't wait to experience it all with you!

There is a passage from a book (Stepping Heavenward) that makes me think of you:

Here is a little mouth to kiss;
here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery.
Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost,
since it is abode of a kingly tenant.
I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all.
Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart,
welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!"
I thank the Lord every day, with amazement, for giving you to us.


Patricia said...

I read it, I laughed, and I cried. You write it so beautifully. Your dear sweet mother allowed me to experience some of those same feelings when she shared you with me. Babies are wonderful and I think God every day for the 2 that are closest to my heart--Mandi & Madi.

Patricia said...

I've been looking for this at least twice a day since her birthday. I'm glad to found some time to put this in words for all to see. Love you, Aunt Patty

Mandi said...

Thank you, Aunt Patty. I know you think Mom sharing me with you was a gift to you - but I believe it was an even greater gift to me. You have shaped me more than you may ever know. I am thankful I get to share Madi with you, too.