Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Dear Maddie,

Dude. You are four. FOUR! I don't even know how we got here.

As prosaic as it sounds, I still (and probably always will) think of you as my little baby girl. Except I have to squint extra hard to see it now. Especially when you stand, with your bony little arm perched on your hip, and whine your requests at me, "Moooooommm!" So apparently you're four, going on 14. Seriously - can I stay "Mommy" at least for one more year? Please?

So much change in just one year...

A year ago you used binkies. (Like all the time - it was quite annoying really. Good thing the Binky Fairy took care of that one.) Now it's like you never used them. I can't even imagine you with one now. (Thank god, right?)

A year ago you still had that toddler twang - lisping your "th's" and leaving words out of sentences. Now you pronunciate and articulate like a proper little lady. In fact, you may just mind your p's & q's better than your Daddy (don't tell him I said that).

A year ago you wanted to watch princess movies all the time, over and over and overandoverandover again. Now you ask for far less tv - more interested in doing, playing, creating.

A year ago you would argue and demand and tantrum. Now you reason, cajole, manipulate (in a good way) (usually).

A year ago you wouldn't try new foods (we're getting there).

A year ago you couldn't use the bathroom without help. Couldn't get dressed or undressed without help. Couldn't open the fridge. Find yourself a snack. Open the front door. Clean up your room. You are so self-sufficient now, I find myself asking if I can help you, please can I do that for you, all the time. "No Mom, I can do it. All by myself I will do it."

A year ago you couldn't swim. Couldn't ride a trike. Couldn't write your name, or any letters at all in fact. You draw pictures (of people! and other recognizable things!). You write your name, Katie's name, Mommy and Daddy. You're learning your last name. You have your address memorized.

You are getting fearless. More confident every day. Cutting those apron strings and becoming your own little person faster than I ever could imagine.

Four will be a doozy I think. So much learning for both of us - new skills and independence for you. Learning to let go, stand back, let you try on your own, for me.

So while I take a look forward, I also take a look back.

A year filled with dancing. Singing (you love to sing along to the radio now). A year of learning and practicing and playing and giggling and "Just teasing, Mom". A year spent watching you soak up everything around you like a sponge. And admiring how it still didn't change your sweetness, your generosity of spirit, or your humour.

You still wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and an eagerness or have funfunfun.

You are my libra. Here to teach me how to balance.

You bring us light and laughter and so so so much love.

Every year your birthday seems to hover around Thanksgiving. As if we needed to be reminded to be thankful.

Maddie's 4th birthday from Sara Vallier on Vimeo.


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