Madeline is 13. . .
Last week went by in a whirlwind. We realized with Madeline’s RVA schedule that the only possible day for her party was while I was on call – so I asked a friend to cover me for three hours and we welcomed 26 nearly teenagers into our house for cake, hot chocolate and marshmallows and a movie.
They chatted and laughed, said thank you and got as excited as I do about the bag of marshmallows poured out into a bowl on the table. Madeline smiled her still shy smile as they sang to her, and I marveled that my sweet Madeline was certainly no longer a baby – as tall as me and full of quiet confidence and unwavering kindness.
From the first day we welcomed her to our family, she has been the answer to prayers I never knew I had. She expected me to be her mom, to love her well – but also sensed when I had a bad day and would greet me with a quiet hug. As we talked through some big life things on Sunday, she smiled with perplexed insight and asked me how she could balance being an introvert who loved people. . .voicing the same debate that had been bouncing around my head that day.
She thinks deeply, approaches everything with unrivaled sincerity, gets excited about books and events with contagious enthusiasm that is hard to follow. She loves the people around her, but sticks with her heart and conscience when things get topsy turvy. She is an endless dreamer, creator, traveller, compassionate thinker. . .
Our friend Jennifer put it well in her happy birthday comment, saying, “She is going to blow the teen years out of the water. I love the way she sticks to her own choices, is loyal to people not fads, is able to laugh heartily and interact with adults, is difficult to distract when she has a good book in her hands, is equally smart from the academic and the appearance standpoint. God was good to give all of us Madeline. . . .”
Happy 13th Madeline . . .we love living this unpredictable life with you and can’t wait to see what the next chapter of your life holds. . .