Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dear 18 Month Old Simone...

Dear Simone,

Hello you wild little monkey, you.  You are certainly learning to voice your opinion these days, and you are quite....opinionated.  Although, if you weren't I would be beyond shocked.  You see, sweet Simone, your Daddy and Mommy are a lot like you... or more you're a lot like your parents.  When the task is frustrating, when we have to leave a friend's house, or when you're angry you get upset and make your voice heard.  I know it's hard to understand why you're not allowed to climb on the kitchen table, but I promise that we just want you safe.  Someday it will all make sense...

What's amazing about a kid like you is that your opinionated side comes out in other ways, beautiful ways.  For instance, there's no wondering who you love, when you love someone we all know it!  You show affection freely giving hugs & kisses to your family & friends.  One of my very favorite things you've been doing is holding my (or Daddy's) face in your tiny hands & looking right into my eyes.  After a good long look at me, you throw your arms around my neck and squeeze me with the best hug I've ever felt.  It makes any of the challenges of our day melt away.  It tells me that you are happy and proud of your Mommy despite mistakes I make along the way.  And, I could never really put into words how it FEELS... but I think it's along the lines of pure sweet bliss.

You are also talking up a storm!  You've mastered many words (Daddy, Mama, cup, keys, cheese, Ozzie, Landon, doggy, kitty, baby, shoes... to name a few) and you're working on many more.  We are always impressed by how much you understand.  Even when you don't want to listen, you show us that you understand what we are saying.  I see you playing pretend with your babies, your cars, and blocks.  Some days I can't believe you're the same tiny baby girl who we first snuggled a year & a half ago.

We love our evening walks out front... and now that you love to hold hands with Daddy & I, it's even better!  Stealing moments with you looking at the trees Daddy planted, snuggling on Saturday mornings as a family, and family kisses & hugs before bed time are some of the most meaningful moments I've ever had in my life.  Daddy & I also love working with you in the garden, and while taking care of the yard.  You have become such a great helper and your love for the outdoors shows.  One of the sweetest things you do is when there is a big gust of wind, you throw your arms out to the sides and toss your head back.  You really feel everything around you and we just feel so lucky to be a part of your life.

We are so proud of how you have excelled at swim.  You were awarded your first level survival medal a few weeks ago.  I was beaming with pride and couldn't believe how far you've come in your lessons.  Right now you can float (airplane) on your back by yourself, reach up for the wall, almost climb out of the pool alone, and go under and find the step.  You're confident and comfortable in the water and each day you show me how independent you are becoming.

Simone, you are smart and beautiful, but more importantly you are determined.  I hope you carry that through your entire life.  Even when the world weighs you down, because it will no matter how hard I wish it wouldn't, keep that determination.  Hold on to it, and no matter where you go in life it will serve you well.

Most of all, Simone, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for being my girl.  Thank you for being a trooper when things aren't easy.  Thank you for every little thing that makes you, YOU!  Even the stuff that challenges me.  I love you more today than I thought I could yesterday and I can't wait to see what adventures are next!

Love always & with all of my heart,