My baby turns 3 today. Three years ago, this little bundle of personality entered our lives and we haven’t been the same since.

Maddie, you are beautiful. You’re our little superstar. You have so much energy and “joie de vivre” you keep us all entertained. You practically define the word “effervescent”. You have charmed a lot of people in your three years of life – not least of all your parents.

We felt so lucky when you were born – so blessed. We worried about you before you arrived, because we hoped and prayed you would see life. After we lost your brother Matthew, we weren’t as certain about your arrival as we’d been with your older sisters. But when you emerged, and you let out your first holler, our eyes filled with tears of joy and we knew that you would bring light into our lives.

And that’s just what you’ve been for three years – a shining light. People are drawn to you like moths to a flame. Everyone around you fell in love with you – your aunts and uncles, your grandparents, all of our church family, your sisters, your cousins, and even strangers on the street. When Daddy takes you out to a restaurant for breakfast sometimes, I can’t believe how many times waitresses give you things – stuffed toys, books, you name it. It just seems like people can’t resist you. You make us all happy.

You’re so lucky to have so much love, and I think because you’ve been surrounded by it since you were born, you have a unique confidence. You just assume people will love you, so why shouldn’t you just be yourself? You are courageous and bold, my little one. I’ve seen you climb onto the lap of a complete stranger, because you had little doubt that she would love you just like everyone else has always loved you.

Grandpa would have said you have “spunk”. I’m sorry he only knew you for a short while. He would have been crazy about you, my dear. He would have laughed and laughed at your zest for life. He would have hoisted you on his shoulders, and taken you all over his farm, visiting the chickens, riding the pony, feeding the pigs – you name it.

You’ve been a special blessing for your Grandma. I think she got especially attached to you after Grandpa died. You keep her young and you give her joy, even when she felt like life no longer had purpose. You’re so lucky to have her – how many other Grandmas would crawl under the table with you and pretend it’s your camper?

One of my favourite memories of when you were a baby was the summer we spent at the lake after you were born. You were SO happy to lie in your stroller at the beach. We called you our “beach bum baby” because that was where you were happiest – lying in the sun listening to all the other children playing around you. It suits your personality – you’ve always wanted to be where the fun is.

You’re growing into a unique and wonderful girl, my Maddie. You’re confident and brave. You’re strong and sure of yourself. You love people, but you don’t need them too much. Though you like having your parents around, you’re quite fine without us there. You love to laugh and sing. (I just love it when you sing U2 songs with your Daddy!) You’re imaginative and fun.

I’m so happy to be your Mom! I love watching you grow, my little one. I feel so blessed to be part of your life.

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