To my sweet baby,
You are two!
I wonder how long I will be able to get away with calling you sweet baby. If you ask me to stop I promise I will…
….at least out loud…
…. or at least in front of friends.
We had quite a year! Last year I marveled how you went from a tiny, squirming bundle of love to a stiff, legged baby toddler beginning a great adventure. I thought I knew how subtlely time marches on… but this year… oh, this year taught me a thing or two about subtlety. You took your first steps shortly before your first birthday and by my birthday a few weeks later you were fully mobile. Every day you lost some of the stiffness in your walk, your gait became smoother and more confidant. Now when you are excited you run! And you don’t just run… no boring run from here to there for you… you gleefully dance and run at the same time, your arms waving wildly in the air.
There is pure joy about your every movement! (You run so much like Phoebe the character from one of my favorite television shows I have to wonder if I taught it to you somehow in the womb). Of course Daddy says I have a funny run too so maybe you learned it from me… but you definitely have me beat!
Your joy is not just in running…. you are so full of happiness and sweetness! It just radiates off you. You love life and those around you so much you glow… and you make others glow. You are so kind and giving with your beautiful energy you make me so proud of you. When we were at Disney you bravely walked up to a woman you didn’t even know and threw yourself in her lap and hugged her for a good five minutes.
This woman, this total stranger, laughed and cried confessing that she had been watching you and missing her own children. She said that she needed that hug so badly. How did you know? I stood there twisting my fingers, so proud of you for knowing and so scared that you were so trusting of a stranger.
And you love your friends. You cried in my arms when the bad guy took Elmo’s blanket when we watched Elmo in Grouchland calling “Mo! Mo!”…because he was upset, so were you. You love to visit your friends and shower them with kisses, whether they want them or not. And you take such good care of your “baby”… so sweet.
You are happy to take the hand of a stranger or a friend to show them a flower, Elmo, music, or anything else that makes you happy. You are a happy child and you just want to share it with the world. Out of all the things about you that amaze and delight me this is the biggest. Because to me this joy, that you so willingly share, is a glimpse I get of your beautiful soul. It’s who you are, fundamentally, and I couldn’t be prouder.
It also terrifies me because I know the world and I hope it never puts a damper on your light. I hope some stupid, ungrateful boy never uses it against you. I hope you keep your love of others but learn to protect yourself a bit because I will not always be able to stand by and stand guard you. Although, I am more than willing to follow you around and do so, but I strongly suspect you will not want that.
So no matter what the big world throws at you my little LA please always remember how good and kind and full of light and love that you are. And that’s who you are at your core and it’s a rare, beautiful thing to see. Daddy and I are both so proud of how happy and loving you are, we hope it is the love we give you reflected back… it is a lot of love by the way.
You are still so brave… this year has taught me that not only are you a ray of sunshine but a little monkey in training. You certainly like to keep me on my toes. You arrived the day after the midwife said you would most likely be late. You always liked to do the unexpected. Sure enough, just after Daddy and I gained confidence that we had the house appropriately baby proofed you went vertical!
Scaling couches, climbing tables and toys and any other option to get you higher in the air became your favorite pastime. And clever, you knew that if you climbed on something and called my name I would come rushing to you. So diabolical, you would wait until I was working and climb on something and proudly shout “Mama!” with a look of pure mischief on your face. You knew that I would come to sweep you into my arms. And you were always right.
You are so amazing physically. Daddy and I have joked many times about how you are sure to make the gymnastic team of 2024!!! You have been going airborne in your jumps since you were 16 months and when you started taking gymnastics lessons you were swinging on the rings so long you even impressed your teacher. But I know I will tell the reporters how I knew you were in love with the sport when we were late for our first class because you were so busy hanging from the bar in the car that I couldn’t get you dressed!
Still not much of a talker yet but I enjoy getting to see little glimpses of how your mind works. You know over thirty signs so that we usually know what you want or think. At 15 months you told me that the planes in the sky were birds and just last week you rushed in to blow on the stove because I told you it was hot! I cannot wait until you are willing to tell me more about what you are thinking!
When I think back on this year I picture you flashing by me, pigtail flying and giggling maniacally. I remember you rolling over in your sleep, giving me kisses and then rolling back saying “mama” as you drifted off to sleep. I picture you curled up in your daddies arms as you make him hold you like a hammock to watch Elmo. I think of laughing with you as you made Elephant and animals noises and how you pretend to be a cat so you can eat your food from a bowl on the floor.
I’ll always remember how you curled against me and stroked my back (something I do for you) while we watched Tangled for the 437th time.
You are even more than what I listed here… artistic, compassionate, funny, unique, stubborn, clever… the list goes on. Everything I could have dreamed a daughter would be… and blessings I never would have expected.
I feel the same as last year about you growing up. It is a strange bittersweet journey to be a parent. I strive and reach every milestone with you and I am so happy for you, so proud, and yet a part of me mourns the loss that goes with the achievement. Every achievement is wonderful but means that another part of your babyhood or toddlerhood has passed…. and I’m not always ready. To be honest I still miss your toothless grin 😉
Part of me just wants to keep you this way forever and another part can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for you next. I do want to keep you my dancing, singing baby toddler and yet I’m so excited for you when you act like a big girl. Especially since a sweet, clever, kind big girl. Watching you put on your helmet to sit on your tricycle in our living room made me positively teary.
I feel so honored to be your mama. You keep your Daddy and me laughing every day and we both talk about how lucky we are to have you. It sounds trite to say, although it’s true, you reaffirm my belief in this world. You are so pure and so good and I am so proud that I had anything to do with you.
I love you so much baby girl…. I hope you always know how special you are.
PS…. thank you so much for my first flower gift… it is safely pressed in your baby book.
A lot of adventure…
What a smile….
Learning and loving…
What a sweet goofy girl you are…. I love you