As You Turn Two

Tomorrow is your second birthday and somehow that is shocking to me. Where did an entire year go? Wasn't I just writing to you on your first birthday last week? Once again I'm sick for your big day. I hope this doesn't become a trend - it's not fun for anyone.

So how have you changed?

You haven't. You're simply MORE you. My deepest wish for you is that this is how you continue to grow each year - discovering more of yourself and the world.

Like your brother before you, you've got a speech therapist. When we're working on a word and suddenly you pronounce it in a way that lets us understand you are always so proud. You clap and raise your arms and yell, "Woo-Hoo!" and what cracks me up each time is that you are proud of us. You're proud of Whitney and me for finally understanding your brilliance. You pat our cheeks and clap for us and you are so gracious in your support. It has simply never occurred to you that the problem could be in your speech and not in our understanding. I really love that about you.

You love learning things, you love to figure things out. You LOVE and you do it intensely. For all the times you laugh at me when I tell you to stop doing something there are times when you squeal with glee when I walk through the door - even if I only stepped out to go to the mailbox.

That joy that's inside you, the depth and breadth of it, is a miracle. I promise to do everything I can to help you to hold on to it.

Everyone around you is in love with you. Your dad, your brother, your grandparents, your aunts, your uncle, your godparents - so many people wrapped around those tiny fingers that your hands must hurt. Believe me when I say that there is no one in this universe who loves you like I do. I will do all I can to help you to learn and become who you are.

We're moving soon. This will be your last year here and I worry about what we're leaving behind. I worry about breaking your connection to your roots here. But I know that your family here and your connections to this land will never let you go. These are roots that will help you take wing.

Right now you're asleep in your crib. We are down to one nap a day, usually after you have spent your morning ruling over the daycare with an iron crayon. You love your blankie, Woof-Woof (the dog), Baby Pooh, and Giraffe. We aren't very creative with toy names in this house. These are your friends who must all be in the crib before you will even consider sleeping. Just recently you've started taking books in too. You 'read' them to your friends. In the dark. It's adorable.

And that's the thing - holy crap you are so freaking cute. SO CUTE. You literally walked around pinching your own cheeks yesterday - that's how cute you are! And I'm pretty sure that you're also a genius. So this means my job is to make sure that when you do eventually take over the world you're a benevolent dictator...

But seriously, I hope that future you who is reading this letter feels grounded in my love and in the knowledge of your own worth. I hope that you have embraced your beauty. I hope that you have embraced your genius. I hope that you have boundaries and pride and grace and fierce fire. I hope you're still funny. I hope you have learned to walk with fear. I hope that I've given you wings...and talons.

Most of all I hope that you know that I absolutely adore you. You are everything I always wanted in a daughter. You are simply everything.



ps - When you say, "Shhhhh. Stop" every time I start to sing during Beauty and the Beast or Moana it is not nearly as cute as you think it is. Feel free to let that go this year.