Dear Becks Lynae,
I always sit down to write these letters thinking that I'll know just what to say and just how to say it, but like always I am caught off guard trying to capture your personality. But I am more caught off guard trying to capture the intensity and depth of our love for you.
Becks you had a big year, what can I say? Last May you were a tiny little bit of nothing, weighing in at about 16/17 pounds. You had a sweet and quiet disposition and you were still crawling. In August most of that changed. All of a sudden you started walking. You never really went through a tumbling, bumbling stage-- you just got up and walked and walked like you'd been doing it all along. And with that walking something else changed: you "discovered yourself" it seems. Your personality just absolutely exploded! Quiet? Nope. Sweet? Most of the time. Quirky and spunky and boisterous and outlandishly funny? Every single day.
You have tried me and tested me in ways that I couldn't have expected. You have pushed limits and stomped your feet and pouted your lips and turned your back and gone toe to toe with my own stubbornness. But you know what's crazy? As exhausting as it's been at times, and as exasperated as you've left me, I've loved you even more for it. As you try me with your still-molding heart, I realize how stubborn my own heart is too. If I want to teach you patience and gentleness and kindness, I must first be patient and gentle and kind. You are helping do a hard work in me.
Your sense of humor is incredible. You love to make people laugh, but you also love when people make you laugh. Blythe can do the simplest thing and you might just fall over from laughing so hard. You laugh with your whole body, and there is nothing we can do but laugh right along side you.
As much as you love being with people, I think you are our little introvert at heart. If there is a lot going on, or we've had a busy day, a lot of times I find you in a corner or in your room just looking at books. It doesn't take long for you to "recharge" in this way before you're ready to roll again, but these quiet moments seem to soothe you.
But you are anything but quiet. You love to squeal and scream and sing LOUDLY. You pick up songs very quickly. Some of your current favorites to sing are "Down to the River", "Reflections" [from Mulan], and "You'll be in my Heart" [Tarzan]. You also sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Winkle Star" and that winkle that you throw in is just about the cutest thing ever.
You talk. A. Lot. You are a little parrot of Blythe, and repeat anything she says, even if you have no idea what she's referring to [though you usually do]. You aren't as easy to understand as Blythe was at your age, but I can usually translate for others if they don't understand something. Even if you don't have the words to describe or express something, you can always get your point across. One day I was reading to you and you didn't want to read anymore-- you grabbed the book, threw it on the ground, and said, "AMEN!"
You love to play and tease your daddy, and when he gets home from work you run to him and say, "Getchyou game!" And he always is happy to oblige and immediately starts getting you! I hear squeals of laughter all over the house.
I really think you're ready to be potty trained. Since January you've been occasionally telling us when you need to go poopy and you'll go on the potty. However, since I was super pregnant and now have your newborn sister, I just haven't had the energy or physicality to be able to pull that trigger. My guess is by the end of the summer you'll be a pro. Though we may have to start sooner as you've figured out how to take your diaper off.
You also moved to a big bed this year, and into a room with Blythe. You two have a blast when you go to bed...almost too much fun. It's been a transition for us all. At first it was a little rough. You WOULD NOT stay in bed. So instead of fighting that battle, we got some plastic fencing and attached it all around your bed with zip-ties. Basically we built a cage for you. And it worked! And I know we'll look back and laugh at it and you'll tell tales about what horrible parents we were for doing it, but it has helped us all and been awesome. I'm not sure you were quite ready to leave the crib, but it had to be vacated for your new sister.
Speaking of your baby sister: this was a big year for you! You became a BIG SISTER! Nan joined our family. You love saying her name: "Baby Nan Louish", and you've proven quite interested and sweet. There have only been a few instances we've had to remind you to be careful-- like when you're about to somersault right into her head! It's only been a few weeks but I can't wait to watch you continue to grow into this role more and more, and to watch your relationship with Nan blossom.
You are still pretty tiny, little lady. At your well check your doctor predicted your height to be a little less than five foot! But man oh man can you pack a punch in that little body. He also observed you interact with Blythe for about thirty seconds at that appointment and made two observations: "She's got a sense of humor!" and "You've got your hands full with that one!" Yes. And yes. But Becks, they are full in the best ways possible.
When I was pregnant with you we started praying over you, and please know we haven't stopped. We still pray that you would grow in patience. Not just practical day-to-day patience, but the kind of patience that is long-suffering; the kind of patience that can sit with others through unanswered prayers and the kind of patience that can wait with joy. And we pray you are devoted to your convictions, to your friends, to your family, to your Jesus. And that you live with integrity; that your character would leave a legacy. And Becks, we pray for your purity-- that you would protect it and that others will see where true purity comes from through you. But mostly Becks we pray that you would know our sweet Jesus as your Savior soon.
Oh Becks, I seriously cannot imagine our family without you. Your blue eyes just kill me each and every day. We can't take you anywhere without people commenting on just how stinkin' adorable you are. Thank you for your fierce love. Thank you for always noticing when I am tired or let out a sigh or put my head in my hands-- thanks for asking why I do that, and if I'm okay in your own, sweet way. Thank you for your excitement over simple things. Thank you for giving the best kisses.
Becks, we've had to discipline you a lot. Sometimes we are an emotional wreck because of it. But your dad and I love you so very much, and we want you to experience true freedom. And we want you to know that, just like your relationship with Christ, real freedom is found when we choose obedience. Real freedom is found when we realize our boundaries are not cages-- they are open to our choices-- but they are there to protect us and give us abundant life we didn't know was possible. So when you want to run in the street by yourself and we get onto you, it's because we love you and know more about safety than you. When you scream and talk back to us and we have to reprimand you, it's because we love you and we want you to see that true love helps us be our best.
Two is my favorite age, and I cannot wait to spend this year watching you explore and learn new things. You're hands are still dimpled and pudgy and still a little bit baby. But I know as this year wears on they will turn into the hands of a little girl. And I want to hold those hands as long as you'll let me.
We love you deeply and fully. There are times I honestly don't know if I can refrain from kissing your face over and over again. Parenting you is a challenge, but it is also so so so much fun. We are trusting God to write your story, and we are so thankful we get to play this little part of it as your parents.
Happy second birthday, Becks Lynae! There is nothing you can every do that will make us stop loving you.