Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Meridian,

Happy 4th Birthday to our sweet, snugly, independent, and ringlet-curled Meridian Piper!

Today you are 4! No longer a baby, no longer a toddler, and instead entering into that preschool stage. A stage of learning and growing. A stage of discovery and independence! I can hardly believe we are already here!

Just 4 years ago, you made it known to me that you wanted out and not in a long fashion, but rather a quick, beautiful, water birth that made me swear I would never give birth on land again. One day after your sister's birthday, and 4 days before your due date. You did things in your own time, and still do.

Your birth healed my soul. After feeling as if I somehow failed in Zoelle's birth, your birth was beautiful, peaceful, and everything I was hoping for. We got to snuggle right afterward, you nestled into my arm as the nurses and midwife left us alone. You nursed, but only for a little bit before you drifted off to sleep. In the coming months I would grow accustomed to you and your lack of interest in nursing.

We bonded in those early morning hours before anyone was there. Just you and I, and daddy. I felt my heart expand with a love I again did not know was possible.

I watched as Zoelle marveled over you, and at times struggled to accept you. For the first year of your life you were this amazing sleeper, and a very relaxed baby. While your sleep has changed a bit over the years, you still are an easy-going, relaxed, little girl.

At just over one, you became a big sister! You have never known anything different and have accepted and loved Xiomara ever since. That is not to say that you don't fight! ;)

This past year has been a pretty fun one with you Ridi. You have continued to show us that you kind of match that middle-child personality by being easy going and laid back. However, you are fiercely independent! I'll often find you playing on your own with your dolls, books, etc. Often filling your pockets with trinkets, rocks, and gum (you love gum)! You are perfectly content to be on your own, away from your sisters. You do have a stubborn streak that always surprises me a bit, but also makes me laugh. You have a face we call the ducky face, which means you stick your lips out in a pout like a duck! It makes us all laugh!! Your Auntie Genevieve says that your stubbornness reminds her of me, but I'll just blame it on your daddy! ;)

I had grand plans to start teaching preschool to you this year, but you showed no interest in doing so, and so we waited. Finally, this Spring you were ready, and I have been amazed at how much you know! You can count at least up to 50, you know your colors, and shapes. You also know what sound most of the letters make. You also surprised me this year by writing your own name without my help!

When I think of you and what I want to remember and what I want you to know, what always comes to my mind is how much you ooze sweetness. You love to give kisses and hugs, and seek any of us out during the day to get them. For someone so independent, you love to sleep with Zoelle at night. Snuggled in close to your sister where you feel safe from any thunderstorms (you do not like them) that may scare you. That doesn't stop you from still climbing into bed with us pretty much every night, or in the early morning hours. I secretly love that you still do. It warms my heart that you know that we are always here for you. Plus, I like to snuggle too (maybe I am a bit more like you than I thought)! I also love to watch you sleep. You look like a little angel, with your beautiful ringlet curls cascading all around you! How could one forget that in order for you to nap or fall asleep at night, you need one of us to lay with you. You normally surround yourself with a hundred of your favorite books (Wacky Wednesday, Happy Birthday To You, Mr. Brown Can Moo, and any other Dr. Seuss book), and after reading one to you, then fighting you a bit more, you drift off into sleep.

This is the last year I have with you before you will enter Kindergarten, which brings a whole new level of independence. My prayer is that this year you would grow in who you are. That God would give you a confidence to be, free spirited, Meridian. That you would use your sweetness to brighten others days. That God would be refining in you that stubbornness and independence to use it for His good.

So Happy Birthday sweet girl. We love you!  I leave you with words from your favorite Dr. Seuss book (at least for now):

"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Shout loud, "I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham. Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam! I am what I am! That's a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!"

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