Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Lottie Love Letter

I am sorry friends, but a birthday at our house isn't complete without some kind of heartfelt love letter to the child we're celebrating. I have this crazy expectation that someday they will appreciate, perhaps even cherish, the sappy words of their asylum bound Mother. 

Dearest Charlotte,

I confess to postponing your birthday letter. When I think about what you mean to me and our family, I find myself at a loss for words. Oh look. We're less than five sentences in and I already sound trite; which has been my primary concern.

Sifting through my head, I am searching for the perfect adjectives to justly describe you. You are full of charm. You posses a self awareness over your ability to use said charm in wrapping those who love you most around your dainty little fingers. Lurking in your soul is a mischief-filled comedian who brings a unique blend of frustrating hilarity into our home.

The sweetness in your voice and its accompanying inflection produce continual smiles to those who have the good fortune of listening to you speak. Your beautiful brown eyes are full of intelligence (a Mother's bias, sure). They compliment your ever increasing verbal skills. Listening to you speak amazes me at times and I have to wonder how time could have faded the memory of Eliza and Henry learning to talk when it truly is a daily joy.
You know how to pray and are generally cooperative when we ask you to take a turn and repeat the words after Mom or Dad. Like your older siblings, you are an excellent sleeper and I see myself  introducing you to a big girl bed in the near future. You take a one and a half to two hour nap each afternoon; sometimes it's longer. Being the third, you've proven yourself adaptable in working around your siblings schedules.

When Eliza and Henry are away at school, you miss them. They have taught me that this time of solo bonding you and I share won't last forever. I thought Eliza would be a baby forever. It wasn't long until I thought she'd be two forever. Time and a little experience has changed my mindset. When I look at you, I tell myself that you'll be two for about five minutes so I better cherish this time, tantrums and all, RIGHT NOW.

You are happiest when you're surrounded by your entire family. If a piece of this puzzle is missing, you demand (over and over) to know where the missing family member is. When we return from an errand, you squeal with happiness.

"My house! Dottie's house! Mine house!"

You understand instruction, but that doesn't always mean that you're willing to follow it. :)

Henry is your best friend. Eliza adores you equally, but with the time she spends at school, your bond with Henry had no choice but to strengthen. On days when he has preschool and a play date, I feel bad for you.

You like to be involved in what the older kids do. You often remind me when it's your turn or you simply say,

"Me too!" over and over.

One time, when I retrieved you from your crib at the start of your day, the first thing you said was,

"I want some popcorn, Mom." It was so funny.

In your quest to learn about the world, you tell me as much as you know or can. Then, you wait for me to confirm the correctness of your observations and then listen as I add to it.

You appreciate your agency. That's a polite way of saying you love to use the word 'No.' However, I have to say on your behalf that you are so well trained (thank you older siblings) in using your manners. It thrills me that I usually don't have to remind you.
Your two year old determination is something I try to appreciate. At times I fall victim to your persistence and give in to your loud demands. I know that I shouldn't, but it does happen sometimes. Other times, I'm stronger. For example, one night you went to bed really upset because instead of sleeping, you wanted to color. Seriously, you really wanted to color. Finally, you gave in to sleep and I have to say that Daddy and I applauded ourselves for being firm. The next morning, the first thing you said to me was,

"Mom, I want to color." It reminded me of the popcorn comment, except I knew exactly the motivation behind that request.

It's funny that I said I was at a loss for words at the beginning of today's onslaught of words. I suppose I've just proven myself a liar.

Before I conclude, I want to add that you have a magnetic personality. You pull and distract each of us away from who knows what to feed you attention. We are addicted to your smile and fight to be the source of your laughter.
 Eliza loves to color with you and giggles immensely when you repeat her Chinese words. Henry wants to be near you. He's always ready with a hug for you and lights up when you come into the room after a nap, etc. The bond you have with Daddy is a post for another day. It's ridiculous the way he is tied to you.
As for me, I am grateful everyday that Heavenly Father sent you to our family. You are my special companion and friend. It comforts me that so many minutes of our day are spent together. I sure feel lucky to be your Mom. I love you. I love you. I love you!

Happy birthday sweet Lottie.

Love,
Mama

Quick clicks: looking back
The day Lottie was born
Lottie's birth story
Lottie's first birthday letter
Lottie's first birthday party

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