I have a feeling you would have burst into my room this morning to wake up your daddy and me early. I, of course, wouldn’t have minded because I would have wanted you to open your presents as soon as possible. That’s assuming I hadn’t already given them all to you early. You know I’ve never been able to make it to daddy’s birthday without giving him his presents early. I never would have been able to resist making you smile.

I wish I knew what three year olds played with. But I promise you I would have bought you everything your heart desired. When you were with us, you loved anything that made or played music, so I’m going to think I bought you a bunch of musical instruments – bongos, a tambourine, anything that could add to the beautiful racket in our house.

Your birthday is on a holiday, so your daddy has today off. I’d have a big day planned. Pancakes for breakfast, then a trip to the park, followed by a fun lunch at your favorite restaurant. Then a big family nap, because we all love to snuggle. Annie always resists snuggling at first, but I’d bet anything that she’d immediately snuggle with you.

After our nap we’d color, have a dance party, laugh at Annie, eat dinner, and then we’d bring out your annual creme puff with three candles in it. We’d sing happy birthday and I think this year you’d know how to blow out your candles. I can almost picture your little lips puckered up to blow them out.

As I tucked you into bed at the end of the day, I’d tell you how much I love you, and how special you are. I’d ask you if you had a good birthday, and I hope you’d say yes. I’d give you a million kisses and say goodnight.

I wonder what you’d want to wear. I wonder how long your hair would be. Could I braid it? Would I put it in pigtails? I bet you’d be talking up a storm. You already had so many words. I know Annie would idolize you. When she sees your pictures she claps and smiles and shrieks “BAYBAY” with glee. I know you would be an amazing big sister, so patient and gentle.

I wish I knew more about who you would be. It’s so unfair that you’re not here. You are missing so much. We are an incomplete family without you, but we love you completely. We need you. We miss you.

There isn’t a second of the day that I don’t physically ache from missing you, Maddie. I still wake up every morning in shock that you’re not here. But today, on your third birthday, the ache is stronger, the shock deeper, the pain more intense. The love, though…the love is stronger, deeper, more intense as well.

Happy birthday my sweet Madeline Alice. I love you forever.

Love, Mama

8 mile

your daddy wrote you a letter, too. It’s here.