This beautiful little girl will be three tomorrow. I struggled at times, wishing she could stay my baby forever. The older she's gotten, though, the more deeply I've fallen in love with her. Which seemed nearly impossible on day one.
As the kids and I were out walking last week I remember thinking what good company she is. I couldn't tell you what we were talking about, but I know I enjoyed our conversation. I clearly remember wishing I could somehow bottle up that walk through our neighborhood that we love so much and be able to do it again, exactly the same, in fifteen years, thirty and even fifty years from now. Just to be able to enjoy being with little almost three year old Madeline again.
Some days I think this stage of life will never end. That I'll never be able to hop in the shower without worrying that disaster will strike for the ten minutes I'm gone. I'm pretty convinced I'll be changing diapers and making peanut butter sandwiches till the day I die. But every once in a while I get these moments of clarity where I see myself in the distant future and I'm longing to hold my babies as babies again. Wishing life was simple like it is now. And those moments manage to reset the frazzled, tired me. The sun comes out from behind the clouds, and we keep going.
I'm sitting here, on the eve of my oldest child's third birthday, enjoying one of those moments of clarity. Appreciating the beautiful journey she's led us on. Loving her as she is now, but also eager to see what the next year will teach us about her and ourselves. My favorite thing about this picture is that it captures so perfectly the way she glows. Madeline glows with love, strength, creativity, imagination and a thirst for knowledge. But most of all Madeline glows with goodness, and I feel so blessed to be her mom.
...I love you