Today is your second birthday. I know it sounds trite to say this, but it's true - I can't believe how fast the time has gone. It seems like just yesterday I was still on maternity leave and you and I would take long walks every morning. You would sleep and I would talk to you like you could understand me. And now? You do understand me. OK, you understand some of what I say to you, but I know you get it.
So much has happened in the past year. Some good - walking, running, talking in mini-sentences. And some not so good - double pneumonia, ear infections, and a sprinkle of temper tantrums. The one thing I have learned this year is that there is never a dull moment as a parent. For someone who is most definitely not a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal, I am slowly learning to do just that (if your father read this he'd say that I have a long way to go!). The point is I'm getting there. Just as much as we are teaching you things like don't kick the cat or the Cubs are the best baseball team ever, you teach us on a daily basis. For example, I've learned that you like to walk upstairs to bed on your own instead of being carried because it gives you a sense of control and independence. I've learned that it's OK and normal that you call me and many other women in your life Mommy. It's not that you don't love me, but that you are capable of loving others.
There are so many things I want to say to you, but I'm afraid everything is going to be a jumbled mess. Like you have no idea how I love the feel of your hair on my cheek when I snuggle with you before bed. Or how I love picking you up from day care after a day at the pool. I always tell you that you smell like a day at the beach. You have the sweetest profile I have ever seen - that little button nose of yours makes me smile and want to squeeze you all day. I love when you giggle while watching Curious George - you never know I'm watching you, but I can see you start to smile and then laugh. I am happy when I hear you laugh. I never wanted to be Mommy. I always preferred Mama for some reason, and that's what you called me up until a couple of months ago. Now when you see me walk in the door, you smile and say, "Hey Mommy!" and it makes me melt. I love your little toddler legs and arms and I tell you that all the time. They're smooth and soft and I squeeze them as much as I can because I know that if two years have gone by this quickly, before I know it you're going to be headed to high school. I love how whenever I say I have an "owie," you lean in to kiss it. I still love the look of your diaper-butt. I like watching you run around in your pajamas. I love how you say "Yummy!" when you eat dinner. You have the silliest laugh (you always have) and it is contagious. I love when I hold you and you pat me on the back. I think it's another way you say "I Love You."
So it was a jumbled mess, but that's OK.
You have been in our lives for two years now, and every day is something new. Thank you for teaching me to go with the flow. Thank you for making me laugh with a simple giggle. Thank you for helping me put things into perspective.
I'm proud to be your mom.