It’s that time again- time for a letter to my daughter in honor of her second birthday. Please indulge this non-food post.
My dear, sweet, darling, strong, gorgeous girl,
You are two. How did this happen? I feel like it was just a few hours ago that I was looking at you for the first time. Now you’re running around, talking up a storm and making your way in your world. It’s happened so quickly.
Now that you’re two, you are talking, talking, talking all the time. You have so much to say. Sometimes you’re observing the world around you, “birds! clouds!” Sometimes you’re working things out, “Daddy…work. Mummy…work.” Other times, you’re telling me about your day (even if it takes me a few minutes to get it), “knee…fell down. crying. Mummy kiss.” Still other times, you’re asking for what you want, “Straw, please.” We’ve been careful to teach you manners so we also get a lot of, “please, please, please” (and sometimes the sign too, which is the only one you still use) and some cute, “Thank you”s. My absolute favorite (aside from when you say “mummy/mommy/mumma” is when you say, “Okay.” Which is what you say to just about everything. The tone of it changes with your mood- it can be a tearful, pulling-yourself-together “okay” or it can be a cheerful, let’s-do-this “okay.” I love it.
It has been amazing to watch you grow and become your own person. You have an incredibly upbeat, cheerful spirit and disposition. You cry, don’t get me wrong- and sometimes you scream- but it’s generally short-lived. You’re willing to observe for a few minutes and then jump right into whatever is happening. You’re active and love to play outside (and in) and I’ve often seen you singing to yourself as you do. You love to read and have mastered a few of your books including “Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime” which you “read”to me every night. You’ve also just started coloring and drawing which makes me feel like you are just so old.
Your capacity for others is huge. You love all your friends at daycare and you talk about them when you’re home. When you see photographs of them, you name them. This is also true for those children that you don’t see as often, including your cousins N, A and M as well as your friends A and M. A few weeks ago, when you heard the front door opening, you got really excited and yelled out, “N!” who you haven’t seen in at least a month. I guess you had been thinking about him. You love talking on the computer with Grandpa and others and will often request it, “C’mon, Mummy. Grapa.”
Over the last few months you’ve gotten to be a much better, much more independent sleeper. You still prefer to sleep with us but are able to sleep alone and help yourself back to sleep too. You’ve graduated to a “big girl bed”, up off the floor and everything. You’re sleeping well at daycare and you greet us every morning pretty happy. I miss your secret sleep smiles and I can get frustrated when I’m overwhelmed and you want me to stay with you until you’re asleep but I’m glad to see you growing. I know as you get older, you’ll want to ‘nuggle (snuggle) less and less often and this breaks my heart.
We brought your brother home about six weeks ago and I think I was more upset than you were. I was so worried you’d feel displaced but you’ve handled it with such- no pun intended- grace. You like to bring him blankets and to alert me when milk is coming out of his nose. There are times when you’d prefer him to be elsewhere: “Daddy, baby, swing.” but overall, you seem to like him. It’s hard for you when you want to be held and I’m holding him but you’ve done a pretty decent job of learning to wait until I can put him down and pick you up for a cuddle.
And what can I say about my feelings for you? Every single day I am amazed at how much more I love you. I assumed it would sort of, I don’t know, plateau at some point. But it hasn’t. Every single day, my heart expands to capacity and each night I think, “This. This is how much love I can hold.” Every single morning, I wake up to just a little bit more. Being your mother has made me the person I have always wanted to be. Being with you teaches me joy and patience in the same moment.
Because, to be truthful, you are stubborn, persistent and strong-willed. These are traits I hope you keep with you for your entire life. You will not be told what to do and it’s difficult to force you. On the other hand, you know what you want, how to ask for it and how to keep at it until you get it. When you are told a firm no, you fuss but then you move on- it’s pretty clear to you when you can “work it” and when it’s a done deal. I find it awesome that you’ve learned that at just two years old. There are times when you try my patience and I have to leave the room but these are balanced by the times you catch me off guard and make me burst into laughter.
Oh, my darling girl. I adore you. Happy second birthday! Thank you for making these two years the best of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!