Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dear Addie Bear

I believe this letter is long overdue, but I also have no doubt that you will not hold that over my head. You're just not that type of person. I wonder sometimes if you realize just how unique you really are. On the other hand, you've always had an old soul so no doubt none of this will be news to you. I hope that long into the future, you will keep the wisdom you have at such a young age.

You have this amazing ability to understand, not only why someone is upset, but how to help bring their smile back. I have never seen at time when someone around you is upset and you failed to suggest at least one or two ways to try to make them feel better, even if it's just a little laugh.

I hope you will always have a strong sense of empathy. This is a trait that not everyone has, one that can not be taught. Understanding where someone is coming from, and how to help them move forward will win you many opportunities to really help those around you and make a difference in the world.

You pride yourself in listening to your body. If you're tired, you sleep, even if it's not bedtime yet. If you're full, you stop eating, even if a tasty dessert tempts you. If you have a tummy ache, you turn down that tasty dessert saying that it will only make you feel worse. Exercise and time spent outside seems to rejuvenate your energy.

I hope that you will always keep this understanding of your body and know that what is most important isn't the number on the scale, but it's how you feel inside that matters the most. Only you know what makes your body feel healthy and what makes it feel yucky. I hope that you will always be able to maintain that balance because this has and always will be a struggle for most people.

You may not know what you want to be when you grow up, but you once told me "I don't know if this is real or not, but I want to help teach people how to be healfy like me. I want to show them how to listen to their bodies like I do."

I hope that you know that even if there is no job title to match what it is you want to be when you grow-up, it doesn't mean the job does not exist. You may be anything you want to be. No doubt you will find a gap in the world that you can fill perfectly.

You have the perfect sense of humor and seem to know exactly the right words that match the moment perfectly. This sense of humor comes naturally to you and results in laughter from anyone lucky enough to be within hearing distance. It's not uncommon for Ellie to try to copy your funny statements, but that's not the way real humor works. Real humor is spontaneous. It can not be copied.

I hope that you will always be able to bring a sense of humor to your surroundings. Many people struggle to be funny and have to resort to memorizing cheesy jokes. I hope that you will always be able to have that rare ability to bring out laughter without needing a canned knock knock joke.

I have never met someone who is so willing to go with the flow as you are. If Ellie has a different opinion than you, you typically let her have her way because you know it's not worth it to fight about a difference of opinion.

I hope that you will continue to not sweat the small stuff and realize that it's all small stuff. I hope that you maintain the ability to ask honestly ask yourself "Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?" It's not hard to realize which of those lead to a happier life in the long run.

That's not to say that you are a follower. It's that you seem to know when to stand up for yourself and when it just doesn't matter that much to you. If Ellie does or says something that really upsets you, you let her know in as kind of words as you can muster.

I hope that you maintain that ability to stand up for yourself in moments that matter most to you. Your willingness to go with the flow may come across as being a pushover, but in times of importance may you always stand your ground.

You never seem to take things personally. If a friend does something that is a bit mean, you are sad but you automatically start wondering if it was because they were just tired. Or maybe hungry. Or simply having a bad day. You do not seem to ever jump to the conclusion that their lack of kindness has anything to do with you.

I hope that you will always be able to give people around you the benefit of the doubt. There is no way to know for sure what one's motives are for their behavior, but as long as you do not take it personally, you will be able to place the blame on their circumstances instead of on yourself.

There is no one you'd rather spend time with than your sister. You miss the days when she was at the same school with you all day long, and you look forward to the days when you will be at the same school as her again. It seems that just knowing she is nearby gives you a sense of confidence as you go about your own day.

I hope that you will always keep that connection with your sister and know that no matter your age, the two of you give each other strength that can not be found alone. Together you are stronger.

You have so many friends at school. When asked who your best friends are, you may list a few names but you almost always end with "But I love everybody that I know!" and I have no doubt that this is true. You have a big heart and it's big enough to be friends with anyone who is lucky enough to meet you.

I hope that you will always remain popular, but for the right reasons.

You love to snuggle and I do believe you are better at it than anyone else I know.  You have a way of embracing in a hug or laying next to someone in a snuggle that does not come across as intrusive.  I never feel like you are invading my space, even with you right by my side.

I hope that you will always remember that a good relationship is one of balance of love and space.  May you find someone who you can love completely, while still maintaining your individualism.

Whenever it's time to go home, you always make it a point to give each and every friend still remaining in the class room a great big hug, whether they want it or not. You are so full of love and it brings great big tears of sorrow if something ever stops you from showing you care.

I hope you never pass up an opportunity to tell a friend or family member that they are loved. Sadly, chances are that they don't hear it often enough.

You have such an imagination! You have never struggled at coming up with different worlds and pretending to be a part of them. You used to visit "your other home" all the time and what a magical place that must have been. Recently, you've been speaking of the time when you grow up, when everything will be possible.

I hope that you never lose that sense of believing that just because something does not exist here and now does not mean it's out of the realm of possibility. Someday those things will be possible and you will help in its creation.

You have a love and respect for the great outdoors. You pride yourself in being able to find treasures ranging from fairy castles to pretty pinecones. You treat Mommy's special rock, Bob, with as much respect as any cherished lovie may deserve.

I hope that you will always be able to find joy in the small things and know that sometimes the things worth the most do not cost a dime.

You love your extended family with great intensity. Whether it be Nana or Grandpa, Gramma or Cary, Pappie or Grammie, Grandpa Lou or Grandmommy Jeanne, Aunt Erin or Adam or even Audry and Clive, Uncle David or Aunt Brandy or even Haydn, or Uncle Jacob, you know that you are loved by so many people who have a special place in your heart. You never question the bond you have for these people and are always ready to give them a hug.

I hope that you will maintain that sense of closeness with all members of your family, whether direct or extended. They will always be a source of love to fill your bucket.

Your favorite people are Mommy, Daddy and Ellie, and you never let them doubt that you love them dearly. Without being asked, you often compliment us on the things that we do that you appreciate, or on a job well done. "Thank you Daddy for the healthy food you cooked!" or "Mommy, thank you for playing with me!" or "Ellie, I like the picture that you drawed. You did a great job!"

I hope that you will always be able to both give and take a compliment. We all need occasional reminders of a job well done and there is no better pick-me-up than a good compliment.

Addie Bear, you are an amazingly sweet little girl. I do not believe that there are words sweet enough to describe you. Your future is full of happiness not only for yourself, but for those around you. I hope you continue to make Mommy and Daddy proud, though no doubt that will come easy for you. I hope that you continue to search out happiness in the world around you. In the end, that will be how you will make the most impact in the world, and in your own life.

I hope you know how cherished you are and how you remind me of what is really important every day. Your ability to love unconditionally is an inspiration to us all.


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