I have a 3 year old daughter named Madelyn. She normally looks something like this:
Don’t get me wrong, she is lots of fun when she is being playful and in a good mood, but my little “threenager” is a violent outburst waiting to happen… and I love her to death. When Maddie came in to my life, I wasn’t sure I was ready to be a dad. I suppose I should tell you a little backstory at this point.
I met my wife, Emily, on eHarmony while I was deployed in Bahrain. She was pregnant with Maddie, and I realized that her being pregnant wasn’t going to stop me from getting to know this amazing woman. I was traveling from Norfolk, VA to Whidbey Island, WA when Maddie was born. Not being with Emily during that time caused me to be really conflicted about being a father and I was really confused about my decisions. I worried that I wouldn’t be good enough or wouldn’t know what to do. I had no idea what I was getting in to, and I was about to jump in the deep end without knowing how to swim. I made it to Portland, OR and took a flight back to Charleston, WV to be with Emily and Maddie. Yes, I drove all the way across the country and then flew back. Shut up. I was still really unnerved about this huge shift in my life, but it all changed when I saw Madelyn Jane for the first time. When I held her, my fate was sealed.
This little girl had me wrapped around her finger, and I wasn’t letting her go. After a few days, I flew back to Portland and completed my trip to WA. I spent a few months in an unnecessary training school, and then drove down to Dallas where Emily and Maddie were waiting for me. Together, we began our adventure together as a family and headed south to New Orleans, LA.
We’ve had our ups and downs in NOLA, and we’ve had quite an interesting few years here, but one thing has been a constant: Maddie is a force of nature. As soon as she became mobile, she earned the nickname Hurricane Maddie. She could destroy just about anything, and being in New Orleans, it seemed fitting.
Despite the constant craziness, Maddie is such a fun little girl. Shes so smart and curious, and often devious and nefarious. She’s a goofball and cuddlebug. She’s so wild and energetic that it’s like chasing the Tasmanian Devil. Watching her personality grow has been an amazing thing. Her facial expressions are priceless and her smile in infectious.
The challenge that Emily and I embarked upon when we started all of this was the beginning of the best adventure of my life. Together we are raising a girl who will be a tough, smart, and talented person. She will have any opportunity we can give her, and I want her to be able to explore anything that interests her. These three years have taught me that the toughest things in life are the most rewarding. Maddie has made our lives so full and so vibrant, but she has also driven us absolutely crazy. At the end of the day though, I see that smile, and I hear, “I love you daddy”, and my heart melts for that little girl.
I am so proud to be her father. I’m so in love with the little hell raiser who can become a sweetheart in no time flat. She is my little girl, and I’m so happy that she will soon become a Townsend. We are currently in the process of finalizing my adoption of her as my daughter, and her name will become Madelyn Jane Townsend. I can’t help but think back on the wonderful times her and I have had in the three years so far, and know that those times are only the beginning. Emily and I are so lucky to have Maddie to fill our lives with her craziness and love.
I love you little girl.
Our sweet little Madelyn.