And just like that, you are two years old.
You are beautiful. You are kind. You are a constant reminder to me that blessings come in the most unexpected places, at the most unexpected times. You will always have a special place in my heart because you are a forever reminder that the Lord gives grace, even when life’s circumstances seem hopeless.
You still have the most outgoing disposition. You say “hi” and “bye” to nearly everyone we pass, whether in the food store, at the Y, or in a parking lot. But even with your sweet nature, you love to mix things up with face-down-on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming- tantrums. Just a few days ago, you had such a tantrum leaving a store, and at this stage in motherhood, I’m a pro to these things. I ignored you (and the horrified faces of everyone around me,) said goodbye and walked right outside the automatic door, waiting but never taking an eye of you. After a moment, you stood up and walked out, only to happily say, “hi, hi, hi,” to a man…a spectator of your tantrum sitting on a bench. Then once we were out of his view, you fell to the ground again in a tantrum. Your melt downs are epic and almost comical because you are so enthralled in the emotions going through your mind…you have to physically express your frustrations.
In the same way, you express your happiness. You are a snuggler. You love to sit with me, but your daddy is your hero. You light up in a way I’ve never seen a child do with her father. You adore him. You have to give a variety of kisses before bedtime beginning with “eyes” (butterfly kisses,) then “nose” (eskimo kisses,) then a big girl kiss, and “huck” (hug.) Some days, you’ll go through the entire series 4 or 5 times before your ready to go to bed, and the way your sweet little voice dictates those words…it’s one of the many things I wish I could lock in my brain and many years from now, when Daddy and I are no longer made of gold, push play whenever I want.
You don’t have a shy bone in your body. In fact, you may be a performer of sorts some day. You put on a show for anyone that tosses you a smile, and you have a way of making strangers feel like they’re special. They don’t know that you are friendly with everyone, but I do, and I am thankful you are this way. Sometimes I even lie to a very old lady or man and say, “Wow, she must really like you.” I know it’s silly, but sometimes I can see in peoples’ faces how much they miss their children when you smile and talk to them, and when I say that, their face lights up…because you’ve made them feel special. And that makes me sad, because I don’t want to ever reach that day. I want to bottle up your hugs, kisses, and rambling stories (that I don’t understand hardly any parts of) and open it on a rainy day, decades from now when all I want are the days that everyone says went too fast.
You are fearless. You can climb out of your crib with the stealthiness of a ninja. You are mechanical. You are smart beyond your age. You understand everything I say, even in multiple instructions. You see details and you know how to problem solve. You love machines and engines. One of your favorite things in the world is to ride in the side by side with your Daddy. You love speed and yell, “wee-haw.” You are the perfect blend of sugar and spice. One moment you will be banging around with tools and the next, dressing up and playing with a baby doll. You would live outside if I let you, and no matter how dirty you get, you never care.
Every morning before you walk down the stairs, you ask where daddy is and I respond saying, “Where is he?”
You say, “Build housh,” (because you know he’s building our house) followed by a huge smile and “Uck, messy daddy, uck.” Everyone else is messy, but you never are:) When Daddy comes home, you excitedly run to him to give him a hug, and then proceed to tell him how “messy” he is and “uuuck.”
Tomorrow you will be two, but being third in line makes you so much older than your years. You will always think you’re ready for something I don’t want you to do, and I will continually learn to help rather than stop you, because there is no stopping you. In these days, you want to climb ladders at playgrounds and my body fills with fear. But no matter how many times I try to deter you from the ladders, you find your way back to them, determined to climb them. I have to put my fear of you getting hurt aside and teach you. I have to catch you if you fall. In getting to know you these past two years, I know that you will always want to do things that I’m afraid of and my hope is that I can always teach you, but catch you if you fall.