Dear Gwendolyn -- my little Pixie,
A lot of time has been and will be spent preparing and caring for Baby Sister -- our little Birdie, as we like to call her. And while you have been so good about learning about how to care for babies and being patient with mommy's breakdowns (and have happily accepted all those snuggles in bed watching ballerinas on Netflix), I know that this time is passing quickly. I don't want you to think I have forgotten to rejoice every day in everything you are. You are my joy, and I do not want to forget the many ways you express your personality. And let me assure you: you certainly have a lot of personality.
So, my dearest Gwendolyn, these are just a few of the millions of things that I am enjoying in you right now at 19 1/2 months old.
- The way you have developed your own funny little laugh, and how you "tell us jokes" and laugh about them. Honestly, we have no idea what you're saying, but you make us laugh anyways. You have the greatest sense of humor, little girl.
- Your obsession (and yes, it is obsessive) with ballerinas, tutus, The Nutcracker, and dancing. And the way you want to share your joy of dancing with me, with daddy, and with whomever you see on Skype.
- Your musical giftedness -- the way you pick up on almost any song you hear the first time around (even if we're just in the grocery store), the way you sing your favorite songs, and the way you make up your own songs with a resounding, repeatable chorus of, "Bagel! Bagel! Bagel!"
- The immense love you have for babies -- real and fake and imaginary -- and the understanding I see in your eyes about your own Baby Sister. You melt me every time you kiss, rub, and hug my belly.
- Your responsibility. It astounds me to see how you want to put everything in its place -- from the baby gate to your plates. The way you listen to us and respond. The way you want to take care of all babies everywhere.
- Your joy for prayer and reading the Bible.
- The way you sleep at nights -- and have slept at nights since we weaned you off of night feedings. It's heavenly, dear girl. You may be a light napper, but once you're down for the night, you're down. It is a glorious gift.
- Your own blossoming language that we get to decipher every day!
- Your knack for sign language, and making up your own signs in order to communicate.
- Your beautiful eyes -- the way they shine when you see us and the way they ask questions when learning new things.
We are always celebrating you.