Monday, July 5, 2010

A Letter,

Dearest Matine (Chubs, Mattie-John, MJ, Teeny, Monkey, Bug, Lovely, Baby)

It has been too long since I wrote you a letter. While I am sure I write you about 20 love letters a day in my head, it's not the same as getting it on paper (er, the computer). Another sign of the times and proof that time is flying by. You will be 14 months old next week.

I have been thinking a lot about love lately. What is it? I thought I knew. I love falling in love (and hope you will one day too) - it's wonderful and makes you feel alive. I wholeheartedly believe in falling in love with many things and people in your life. Be prepared that the joys of love bring with it the hurt and the pain, but it's oh so sweet and is the essence of living a life worth remembering. But, alas, I discovered that the real deal - is YOU. It's the overwhelming notion and truth that I feel about your very existence. It's nothing you can do or not do to make me love you any more or less. To the moon and back, through the fires of Hell, I would go anywhere, do anything for you. I never really got it until I became a mother. The "love" just "is." There's no reason in the world that I "love" you - it would then be conditional. I love you because I do, because my soul has no choice in the matter. But, I also really "like" you. Wanna know what makes me adore your very existence right now?

You love walking now. Your frankenstein wobble is getting a little less wobbly, but I still find myself holding my breath as you scurry around the house, in the yard, and through the gravel. You stick your arms straight out in front of you and make little fists. You hold your breath and your eyes get really big, then as soon as you get in the groove of your walk, you smile really big. It's extra cute. You have started to try to "run." This is the same look as above, but I can see your face, your eyes get even bigger like you are putting a car into high gear and your little legs go a bit faster. You love to position yourself on taller rocks or steps or anything a bit higher than the ground. You still are one tough, independent cookie. You don't cry or fuss when you fall down, or bang your hands or knees, or dimply hiney. You bravely and confidently get back up and start over. While I am always willing and ready to hold or comfort you, I respect you so much for this resilience.

You adore your dogs still - you greet them first thing, every morning, and you say "hi -oggy" in a sweet little high pitched voice to every single dog we see on walks or around the neighborhood. You love animal books and animal noices - you growl like a bear, moo like a cow, "oooh-eee" like a monkey, bark like a dog (of course), and occasionally neigh like a horse. You know all your animals, even if you can't say the name yet, and will point to them all in your books. You can say "duck" very well and "bird." One of your favorite books right now is "fifteen animals" and in it, each animal's name is "Bob." You love flipping through all the pages and saying "bob, bob, bob" over and over. You know it's funny and you laugh at yourself. You have a bug box with some toy bugs (thanks Auntie Christina) and you love to collect them and make them hop and run up people's legs. Last night, we went to a 4th of July Party and they had chickens in a coop in the backyard. You loved the chickens and I didn't I'd ever get you out of there. Those game-chicken genes are in you after all aren't they little girl! Go Oklahoma!

You are downright sweet - all the time. You are gentle and funny and love to show affection. You are such a cuddler lately and adore to lay down, dig into my belly and spoon. Books must be read in a lap, with arms wrapped around you. You love to give real kisses and blow them. You still smile at people within a few minutes of meeting them and put everyone right at ease. You share very well, even though I don't think you understand what it all means yet, you have no problem letting others take things from you or giving your toys to your friends to play with too. I will remember how grateful I was at this in about 7 months I am sure.

You are finally getting out of your screaming bloody murder when I change your diaper phase - thank goodness! I am certain the neighbors thought I was removing your toenails with tweezers every time you needed a new diaper. Now, you think it's fun to be changed because you like making the smelly "ick" face and wiping your own butt. It's funny. The other day, you had a dirty diaper and you actually brought me a clean one and said "ick." Does this mean you will be easy to potty train?

3 Words: Pool. Backyard. Tents. Between those three things, you are one happy kid. We play in the tent when it rains, hails, or when it's so hot and sunny it feels like a sauna. I am glad nudity is an accepted thing for 14 month olds, because I can't seem to keep clothes on you. I usually strip you down to a diaper when it's really hot ( you get your clothes FILTHY anyways and its one less thing to wash later ) , but you have learned to take your diapers off and as soon as you can, you do! Matine, you have the kind of daddy that takes you to the backyard to hang out in the tent during rain storms and take naps with you outside. He makes sure you are outside to see pretty sunsets and on bike rides to the river to see high water. You are so lucky. So am I.

You are in a serious momma phase (honestly, this can get pretty exhausting). You want to be in the middle of whatever I am doing right now and if you get a choice, you choose mom. I am enjoying this while it lasts. Again, I will be grateful I wrote this when you are about 14 and hate me for not letting you get those shoes that cost more than our car.

We took you horseback riding the other day - surprise, surprise, you LOVED it. Cried when I took you off the horse. Luckily, you get over any crying spells pretty quickly. We have also been camping a few times this summer. It has gone surpsingly well. Night one of the first trip about sent me to a Holiday Inn, but ever since, you sleep like a champ all night, not waking at all. You are a bed hog. You prefer to sleep horizontally between your dad and I. Enjoy that little girl. Speaking of sleep - still 2 naps a day. You wake up at 5am and come to bed with us (I do need to break you of this habit, but the snuggling is SO good). We then all get up about 6:30-7:00am. We play, eat breakfast and drink our coffee (we call your milk "your coffee"). You then go back down about 9-9:30 and sleep for 2 hours. Up at 11:00 or so and we do errands, play in the yard, water flowers, go for walks or runs or meet up with friends. Afternoon nap again around 2:30 and again, you sleep till about 4:00-4:30. Wash rinse and repeat activities, usually do walks or bike rides with dad before dinner, bath time, and bed by 7:30-8:00. You love to brush your two little teeth and read books (as many as possible) before bed.

You still have 2 bottom teeth. That's all. I keep thinking more are coming, but nada. I love those 2 teeth though. You do this underbite, jutting out your jaw thing lately to accentuate them. Adorable. Even cuter that you don't bite yet. You are very aware of "hot" food. You know when things come out of the stove, toaster or microwave that it's "hot." And you will tell me across the house if you hear something come out - "hot, hot." When it is hot, we blow on our food and you love that. You also love to sniff flowers and blow kisses. You are a mimic and pick up on things quicker than we realize sometimes. Much to our shagrin, you even walk and pace while "talking on you phone" now. Yikes! Having a baby around really accentuates our bad (and good) habits!

You have your daddy's physical strength. Truly, you are freakishly strong just like your dad. You also don't complain, just like you dad. He's not afraid of hard work and I have a suspicion you will be the same. Patience, I think you get that from him too. You will piddle and play with something until you get it figured out, without getting flustered. I am so happy to see that in you. Now, I am surrounded by two people who can fix the thingy-ma-jig and I won't have to freak out and throw it across the room.
You have my out going personality. You love to make others smile and enjoy really engaging with people. You got that from me. I love to look people in the eye and really see how they are feeling. You do the same. You will make eye contact with total strangers and not look away. You always grin or laugh or show them your teeth. You "high five" and wave "hi" and "bye" until they are long down the road.

You love to look pretty- I am not sure where you got that from. I have never seen myself or your dad as style icons or people who put much effort into our "look," but apparently I did always make sure I matched and looked nice and put together when I was a kid too (so says my mother now)... Not sure what happened. Maybe it's from your dad - he, without trying, always looks fantastic! It must be those long legs and great tan - they make everything look good. Regardless, you love to wear mardi gras beads (with everything) and you pretend to put on earrings and necklaces. You have to look at everyone's ears when you meet them to see what kind of jewelry they have on and you "ooh and ahh" at it. You love to pick out clothes each day and seem to enjoy getting dressed - with and without my help.

Baby girl, I don't deserve you. I lie in bed at night and wonder and pray that I can be good enough for you. That I can give you everything you deserve, that I can have enough wisdom and grace to guide you through life safely and give you the tools you need to live it well in your own ways. Thank goodness we don't do this alone and you have a mighty village surrounding you - people that love you and will do things better than I. There are so many lessons and secrets and things I can't wait to share with you. Things my parents told me, things I learned the hard way, the easy way, things no one told me about, lessons that I now realize are essential. Will I do this all in the right way? Will I do it in time? Will you respect me enough to listen (or at least pretend to)? The questions... As a mother now, will I ever sleep again?

Your daddy and I have enjoyed you so much. I have never seen your dad happier or more giddy than when he is playing with you. It has made me appreciate and love him more too. Your dad's a great man. He is honest, simple, hard working and very loyal to his family. You will see all this. You already love him unconditionally, but someday you will have your own reasons to "really like him" too. Communication with each other has not always been our strong suit, but I am so thankful that we are growing, getting better at it every single day. I know that part of our determination to be better husband and wife is because we want to be our best for you. I am grateful for that.

So, many funny things everyday that you do - giggles, phrases, looks, laughs ... I am trying to keep it all written down somewhere!


Meg Taylor said...


lauren and brad said...

Oh Brooke. This is priceless. And beautiful. Matine is such a lucky girl.

Michal said...

Love that you're writing Matine letters...they always make me cry. So special, and such an awesome keepsake for her. You're a stud, mom!

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