With one push, you slipped into this world and into our lives. You were smaller and lighter than I expected. 7lbs even. Blonde and fair. With jaundice and crossed eyes. You slept 20 hours a day. Your cry was quiet. You seemed content to lounge on a blanket on the bed. I wondered, “are you OK?” I asked, “is this too good to be true?” And it was.
For over a year, you battled tummy troubles, rashes, allergies, and eye problems. You cried in pain, frustration, and for no apparent reason at all most of the time. You woke up every night, all through the night. I wondered, “am I OK at this?” I asked, “will this end?” And it did.
Now you are playful, stubborn, bright eyed, mischievous, beautiful. You talk in your sleep. You understand inside jokes. You take pleasure in bullying your older sister. You don’t like to say I’m sorry. You love jumping off benches, steps, and other too high items that scare me half-to-death. You refuse to sit still for an entire book. I wonder, “am I OK with you growing up?” I ask, “will it always go this fast?” And it will.
I’m proud of you for the way you mother your baby dolls and the other babies at your preschool. It brings me joy to see the bushy halo of hair around your smiling face when you wake up in the morning, arms outstretched. I love the gaps between your teeth, your wrinkly belly button, your baby shampoo smell.
Someday, I will show you my middle school diary, I will tell you about how I met your daddy, I will warn you of post partum depression. For now, I ache for the time that has already gone by. I celebrate the day you changed our lives in that quiet, sterile room.
I hope you are always as strong-willed, as adventurous, as full of wonder as you are today at 2. Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.