My sweet girl on her 2nd birthday
You are two now. And as stated so concisely in "Peter Pan":
"Two is the beginning of the end."
The narrator, of course, was referring to the beginning of the end of the fleeting magic of childhood. Your beginning has already been filled with adventure. Filled with giggles and joy. A blur of road trips, boo-boos, kisses, bubbles, books, building, dancing and drawing. A blur of simple pleasures and gleeful discovery.
In recent months I have thrilled over your budding independence, confidence and creativity. You are growing steadily more assertive and decisive, and you are a constant surprise and delight to us! I am consistently taken aback by your observations: You have mastered imitation to a fine art, including repeating words or picking at your imaginary pimples in the mirror! Yikes! You also, gratefully, have absorbed more becoming attributes like how to care for your babies (cleaning — or "keen" as you'd say — your dolls, diapering them, putting them to bed, etc. ) or how to kiss Mom and Dad's "owies" (also a well-loved word of yours and one you use to garner affection even when no boo-boos are in sight.)
You have started to label the world around you, attempting to properly identify colors, letters and numbers. For a while everything was "blue" or "two," but you'd sometimes shock us by properly labeling the color pink. You pick out symbols when I wouldn't expect you'd recognize them — like a figurative representation of a cat — and you can pick out individual letters like "T" or "O." You love to declare over and over again, that I am "mommy" and Dad is "daddy." Of course, then you turn your finger to yourself and proudly proclaim "me" or sometimes "baby." When I confirm you are indeed, Mommy's baby you grin and hug me. Now when we are reading story books or are out in the real world, you like to point to objects or people and label them as mommies, daddies or babies. It's amazing to watch you learn a concept and over-generalize it in an attempt to understand how the world works. I am truly astonished by how much you are learning by simple observations and experience.
Some things I never want to forget about you at this stage: That your favorite foods include calamari and Hot Tamales, but you love to eat whatever I am eating — even foods like veggies or oatmeal. That you can remember sign language I taught you months ago and had nearly forgotten myself. That you are growing more confident in your verbal language skills, and now get excited to try out new words or even string words together. That you absolutely cannot go to sleep without a huge stack of books in your crib. When you cock your head and look at me through your eyelashes, as if to say, "Are you kidding me, Mom?" That you love to smear lipstick or chap stick all over your chin, and the face you make afterwards like you just know you're the prettiest thing in the whole world. That you love bows and tutus. That you ask about "Da-dee" all day long and run and hug him as soon as he comes home. That you love to "help" me cook and insist on pulling a chair up to the counter for you to stand on while you help. That you've started to sing songs. That you love to "pyay" (play), and when we Facetime "Nanny" you run to your room and set the phone down next to you so Nanny can play with you. That when you're being naughty, if I count to three your biggest fear is that I will actually have to help you do something — no more independence! That when we play music at home, you always ask me to hold you while I dance around the living room. And that while I'm dancing, you nestle your head into the crook of my neck, wrap your arms around my neck, and I can hear you giggling as I bob and twirl.
I have enjoyed every moment of this beginning's end. You have brought wonder and magic in to our world. As a 2-year-old you are absorbed in the joys of life's simplicities and I hope you never lose that wonderment and thirst for life. I hope you always have a grateful heart, a desire to love those around you, and you always look towards Jesus Christ as your ultimate example (because sometimes observing me is not the greatest idea!) I hope you always know how much your dad and I cherish you and cherish our role as your parents. I hope you're always young at heart, and — more wisdom from "Peter Pan" — I hope living is always an "awfully big adventure."
I love you.