Monday, September 20, 2010

To Chloe Belle on her 18 Month Birthday

Dear Chloe Belle,
Just the other day I was joking with your daddy that we should just go down to the courthouse and officially change your middle name.  No one ever uses it, and it almost sounds absurd when I say your full name out loud.  Somehow, in the past 18 months you became our Chloe Belle, our Bellie Boo, or just plain Belle.  It is a nick name that somehow just picked you.  I love it, but I also love that you have my initials and for that reason we won't officially change your name, we'll just keep calling you what we love to call you.  And who knows, maybe one day you'll find that your real middle name suits you better than any other.

It seems to me that time is clipping by at an uncharted pace.  Every time I turn around you and your Sissy are surprising me with yet another milestone hurdled.  You now have several short sentences that you string together, "Where are you," and "What's this" are the most common.  You attempt to repeat almost any word that we tell you, sometimes it sounds just like the right word, "Kenzie" and "Madie" and sometimes it takes a secret decoder ring to figure out what you are trying to tell us.  You still sign for "More" "All done" and "Thank you" but more often than not you are using your words.

Now that you are becoming adjusted to your role as a toddler you are asserting your own will on those around you.  If you don't want to be held you are quick to tell us, either with words, or thrashing around until we realize that you are getting too big to contain.  You often play well with Sissy, side by side with similar toys, but not the same toys.  Sometimes you share brilliantly, especially if it is food or something that you have multiple pieces of.  But, when it comes to sharing your only sippy cup, a baby doll, or something that you believe is solely yours, you hold your ground.  You'll repeat "mine" until the sun sets, and you don't cave in.  You know what is yours and you hold on to that, you'll even bite to protect what is your own. 

At this age, I love watching you love your baby dolls.  How you stroke their heads, nestle them in a cradle, and feed them.  It's the sweetest thing ever, and I like to think you learned all of that from me.  I like to think that you love on your baby dolls the same way that I love on you. 

I also love moments like this:

Moments spent playing in the rain.  Moments where childhood soaks in. Moments where splashing & puddles bring unbridled joy and laughter.

In six short months, we'll be celebrating your 2 birthday.  We'll be blowing out candles and singing you the birthday song, and we'll be realizing that we no longer have a baby in the house.  What I wish for you in the next six months is that you continue to find your words while simultaneously finding your listening ears.  That you'll continue to explore your independence, but that you'll never wander too far away. 

My sweet Belle, I pray that you always know exactly what your place is in our family, exactly how much you are loved, and that there is nothing you could ever do to make me stop loving you.
Love Forever & Always,


Steph said...

That is so sweet :) I am one of your fellow classmates in Faith's class!!

Ashley Sisk said...

awww...these are really sweet shots.

Liz said...

So sweet!!! I always said you should change her middle name... but you are right, one day she may just love her middle name. Or who knows, maybe she'll go by Belle anyway, as a nickname. Either way.. she is your Chloe Belle, no matter what! :)

TV's Take said...

What great photos of her and such a sweet letter! Hope your trip was great

Eastlyn and co. said...

You are a special mom to pen such poignant letters to your girls so that they are aware of your love for them, Carol. I love the pic of Chloe from behind with her rain-soaked hair and splish splash toes! Good job on the letter and photography!

t.bird said...

so sweet!

Jennifer said...

What a great letter to Chloe! I hope you are printing all of these great posts out for your girls to read when they are older. This is such a great age...watching them learn and explore. She is adorable :)

LeeAnn said...

Happy 18 months Chloe! Carol, you really wow me with your writing. That was such a wonderful letter. :-)