Today, you are two years old. That is, two going on twenty.
You’ve always seemed older than you are. When you were a newborn, you looked like a three-month old. You had a full head of dark brown, pixie-ish hair. You were sitting up and rolling over at four months. You were walking at nine months and running soon after. So independent, you were always ready for the next big adventure – and you still are. You are growing up too fast.
This year, you have moved past your baby days, evolving into a little girl. You have finished your first year of “pre-school”, bringing home finger-painted artwork that we’ve hung throughout the house. Your high chair is gone – you now sit at the table in your “big guuurl chair.” You speak in sentences – which sometimes even make sense. You definitely have your own opinions about what you want to do, most of which revolve around your desire to go to the bounce house, play on the iPad, swim in the pool, or visit Gigi.
You are in love with Elmo and, God help us all, Calliou. You will never pass up a ride on Daddy’s shoulders or a tent-building party in the living room. You love it when Papa scratches your back or when our dog Oscar – “Coco” to you – tickles you with his whiskers. You won’t go to sleep unless Mommy reads you a story of choice and Puppy, Llama, and Bun Bun are in the crib by your side – you call them your “guys.” You can turn anything – and I mean ANYTHING – into a slide.
You think Mommy and Daddy are “sillwe.” Yet, you adore wearing our shoes, clomping around the house in them and saying you’re on your way to “work.” You recently decided that you are a doctor, listening for our heartbeats with your stethoscope (otherwise known as Daddy’s headphones) and checking your dolls for “febers.” We never know what you will do next – you continually surprise and amaze us.
Lucy, I look at you, and I can’t stop myself from smiling. You are a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. You are laughter in the shape of a girl. You are smart, funny, and fearless – an unstoppable combination. You, in all of your tousled and often crazy glory, are absolutely perfect – from the wisps of your brown curls to the dimples on your knees. From your now hazel eyes to your crooked little toes. From your loudest screech to your rare – but beautiful – moments of quiet.
Sometimes, when you are very tired or a little sick, you will even let me hold you. You’ll snuggle in my arms, your body warm and heavy in my lap. I always kiss the top of your head and whisper that I love you. Maybe you tell me that you “luff” me too – no sweeter words I’ve ever heard. And, silently, I remember a time when I thought I’d never have the privilege of holding a child of my own again and certainly not celebrating my baby’s second birthday.
Lucy, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. You gave me a reason to live when I thought all was lost. You gave me the strength to hope and to dream again. You challenge me every day to be a better mother and more patient person – a lesson I’m still learning. While I work to teach you to follow the rules, you show me that it is okay to embrace the chaos. You make me live in the moment with you, allowing me to break free from some of the pain of the past. You – literally – are the light of my life. I am so very thankful that you are my daughter.
And so I will do whatever I can to help you reach our dreams. Today, they are small, like a trip to the park to play on the jungle gym. I can give you a boost and watch you climb. When you jump (and you always do), I will catch you. But, someday, when that climb is a bit steeper and more challenging, I hope you know that I’ll still be there, watching you with awe and standing ready with support. I hope that you always retain your confidence, believing – like I do – that you can do anything.
I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.
Happy second birthday, Lucy. I love you with all of my heart.