Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Mei Li,

Can my baby really be a year old already? It's gone by far too fast. This year you've grown from a helpless, dependent infant to a little girl who is pushing older kids around to get up the slide. It is amazing what changes can take place in a year's time.

I always refer to you as my perfect baby. It's possible that there are easier babies out there, but I fell in love with you from day one and that feeling hasn't changed. I have loved watching your personality unfold. You were quick to smile, but slow to laugh. Slow to roll, but quick to sit.... then stand... then walk.... then run. Everyone was amazed to see such a petite, little girl toddling around the room at nine months. To this day, your mother and strangers alike are often surprised by the abilities you have for your age.

You are my go-getter. You see what you want and go for it. Just the other day, I stood back and watched you try to climb up on a chair at the table. You had done it once before, but this time you were struggling and screaming in frustration because you knew it was possible. Sure enough... you figured it out and that evening you repeatedly climbed up to the table until you had the technique down-pat. You've fallen down the stairs twice already, but that doesn't stop you from going up and down, up and down.

I also call you my "Nature Girl". From the time you started to express yourself, you made it clear that you wanted to be outside. Many were the times you started crying when we brought you into the house. I finally gave up in trying to keep the dirt out of your mouth. You must have sampled a portion from every section of the garden. You are also always aware of any bugs or birds in the vicinity and chase them down if they allow you.

Yet, despite your one-year-old ambitions, you are still willing to cuddle. You love getting hugs and I often find you backing up to plop down on my lap. You get great pleasure from trying to run away and then getting caught and tickled. You especially love your daddy, making it clear that you NEED to be held by him and then getting a self-satisfied look when he complies.

We can't imagine life without you. You bring us so much joy - just as your middle name has proved. While I ache to shield you from the pain and evils of this world and hold you tight to myself, I know I can't. You are God's and we entrust you to Him. I pray that you will learn to find your ultimate JOY in your Creator. Happy birthday, my little one.

Love, "Mama"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dear De Sheng,

Today you turn 3 years old. What an incredible privilege it has been to be your mother for these past three years. Both of us have done a considerable amount of growing, side by side. It's not easy to be a first child with Daddy and Mommy trying figure out parenting on you, but you have been forgiving despite our many mistakes.

It hardly seems a year ago that you were blowing out 2 candles on a bus cake. It's fun to think back on the accomplishments of this year. You've gone from saying a few favorite words to having in-depth conversations with me. I love that you are able to explain yourself more. Just a couple days ago you were asking me to tell you about "Nesia" again. I couldn't figure out what you meant until you explained, "Nesia... you were a little girl playing in the rain." Ah! "INDONESIA!" You've also learned to use the toilet with very little help. You've welcomed a sister into your life and you've had to learn how to share not only your toys, but your parents as well. You've learned a lot about friendships this year as you've gained both 'big' and 'little' friends. I could go on and on about how you've been singing, climbing all over the playground equipment, learning your alphabet and how to write an 'H', how you drew your first smiley face on the window, learned to pedal your tricycle, helped me to plant seeds and pick our first strawberries.

You are such a joy to me. As I often say, "You make me laugh," and it's true. Both in the intentional teasing that you do and in the mistakes made when you try to say big words... both give me joy. When I asked you what kind of cake you wanted for your birthday ("Chocolate?"), you told me you wanted "delicious cake." Later you clarified that "delicious" was "good for our bodies."

I love your smile, and especially your laugh. I love your enthusiasm and your willingness to help. I love your inquisitiveness and your attention to detail. I like that you see animals in the clouds and cars in your bread crusts. I love hearing you sing, watching you dance and especially seeing you care for your little sister. I'm so thankful I get to spend my days with you.

Sure, we have struggles and bad days, but life is a journey. I pray that above all you will be on the path to knowing God and submitting your life to Him. May He give you the discernment to recognize right from wrong and the strength to chose the way that honors Him.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday week, my son. I am looking forward to this next year with you.

Love, "Mama"