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A Letter To Cora

Your third birthday is fast approaching,
and I feel like you don’t ever slow down enough for me to
tell you how much I love you. You do realize, I hope, how much I
love you.

This past year has been an incredible one with you. Maddie’s
been in school for the first time, and you and I have had some
truly wonderful one-on-one time together. I’ve never seen a
girl enjoy the outdoors and nature as much as you do, and some of
our best days have been spent at the duck pond near our house,
packing a picnic lunch and lazing around on the blanket, snuggling
or reading books together or watching the ducks.

You’re really in your element when
you’re outside, and I can turn you loose in the backyard and
you’ll play contentedly by yourself for a good hour or more,
cooking in your outdoor kitchen or collecting rocks or watching a
line of ants march by. You take great care of your plants, and
water them and your tree assiduously. Do you remember your tree?
You said that for Christmas, all you wanted Santa to bring you was
a real, live tree of your own, with a red bow on top. And sure
enough, a baby potted spruce was sitting under your stocking on
Christmas morning, a red bow on top and little red glass balls
hanging all over it. You watered it indoors all winter, and now
that it’s safely planted in our back yard you take great care
of it. You hug it, sing to it, and smile happily when you pass it.

This year has been one of huge growth for you. Your language has
taken off, and your vocabulary and sophisticated speech patterns
always startles strangers when they first meet you. You adore books
and spend pretty much every afternoon quiet time – since you
rarely nap any more – reading a dozen or more books.
You’ll beg me for the same one over and over until
you’ve memorized it, and then you’ll “read”
it to yourself. Trying so hard to make sense of the pages, you are
coming tantalizingly close to actually reading.

Your sleep has, on the whole, gotten better, for which I’m
profoundly grateful. You’ll sleep through the night perhaps
four nights out of seven, and believe me, I’ll take what I
can get. I still dream of the day you (and consequently I) go a
whole week without getting up at night. Perhaps I’ll be
writing about it for your next birthday.

You still are quite attached to Mommy, though that’s starting
to ease up ever so slightly. You’ll go to Sunday School at
church now – but only to Maddie’s class, not your own
age. You are quite stuck to your big Sissy and I think it will come
as a bit of a shock to you when you don’t start kindergarten
with her. You consider her preschool your own, and walk about the
place as if you go there too. You have begun to allow babysitters
to help out occasionally, and as long as I’m completely
honest with you and let you know when I’m leaving and when
I’m returning, you’re (for the most part) pretty
accepting of that. For this I say, thank you very much.

My hair continues to be your main comfort in life, and I think
you’ll soon be able to take it down from my French twist
almost as fast as I do. I have, however, drawn the line at cutting
off a bit for you and leaving it when I go out.

You have a real heart for dancing, and will dance whenever and
wherever you can. When we take Maddie to her ballet class, you
dress in your own leotard and tights and shoes, and do your own
class in an empty studio. You’ll run back and forth between
Maddie’s studio and yours, watching her class and then
running back to the empty room to try out what you see. If
we’re not outside during the day, chances are we’ve
dressed up and are putting on a ballet of some kind. You have an
incredible musicality to your movement and watching you dance
always brings me just that little bit closer to God.

You also adore music, and have memorized every song Maddie’s
learned in school. Belting them out as we run errands is a favorite
pastime for you; currently you’re hooked on “I’m
In The Lord’s Army” and “Down By The Bay”,
but your repertoire’s changing every week.

This summer will mark some big steps for you. In another week
you’ll be starting swim practice, which I can now tell you is
the same thing as swim lessons, but you refused to take swim
lessons so we call it swim practice with, of course, Maddie along
for comfort. You’ve also agreed to go to ballet camp for one
week, and are heartily looking forward to that. Now that
you’ll be 3, you’ll be able to take all these classes
you’ve watched Maddie do for two years and I know
you’re straining at the leash – separation anxiety

On your birthday I’ve got your chocolate cake all ready, as
requested, even though I know that you’ll simply eat off the
frosting and leave most of the cake. And speaking of eating, you
are the queen of multiple meals. You’ll knock back a couple
bowls of cereal, then beg me for a sausage biscuit before you call
breakfast finished. Lunch may take quite some time, but could
easily consist of three bowls of yogurt. Dinner is your lightest
meal, probably because you’re so full from the rest of the
day! You sit right next to me at the table, and oftentimes
you’ll get down from your seat to adjust your chair to make
sure it’s as close to Mommy’s chair as possible. You

You, my darling girl, are the happiest, most unrepentant sinner
I’ve ever met. You’ll do something you absolutely know
is forbidden, get called on it, then smile your charming smile and
say, “Sorry Mommy,” with a look that says, “Hey,
you can’t blame a girl for trying!” You’re
absolutely fearless and think nothing of climbing on top of things,
jumping off walls, and doing something “just to see what
happens”. You’ve also one of the least self-conscious
kids I’ve ever met. I mean, you’re shy around
strangers, but you don’t self-censor yet, and find everything
you do wonderful. I hope you never outgrow that.

All in all, though, you’re a pretty obedient kid, and are
working ever harder on that each day. You absolutely love your
sister and are getting better and better about sharing and not
hitting or being too selfish with her. I’ve loved watching
the bond between the two of you strengthen over the past year, and
look forward to seeing it deepen over the coming one.

I guess what I’m trying to say, kiddo, is that I’m
crazy about you, and have truly loved my time with you this past
year. I’m so proud to be your Mommy and love you dearly. I
look forward to this next year together, and can’t wait for
it to begin.

What will God have in store for us? Let’s find out together.




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