I can't keep up with you. You've been pushing me along at your own pace since before you were born. From sending me into labor 3 weeks early, to a shotgun delivery, literally less than 4 hours from when I noticed the contractions to when you emerged, your fist next to your head, to standing on your own at 6 months and walking at 29 weeks, you have always had your own agenda to keep, and you are not the type to wait for me to be ready before you leap ahead.
You sort of remind me of your daddy.
You can say daddy now, the whole word, every consonant. You couldn't do that last month.
You are so alive. Unflinchingly, unapologetically joyful, or sorrowful by turns, throwing yourself headlong into whatever it is you have decided to tackle, especially me when I'm squatting down low enough.
It hard to think of you apart from what the act of bearing you has taught me. It was while pregnant with you that I finally realized that all good things are gifts. They are not rights, or earned privileges, they are not something I deserve or can earn. Every good is a gift, a precious beautiful miracle to be savored and enjoyed, but never to be taken for granted. I realized that there was no fundamental difference between me, and you the child within me, and the women traveling the dirt paths of Africa, heavy with child, water jug on her head. There is nothing about me that deserves luxury, comfort,education, and safe birthing conditions more than she. Apart from geography we are both the same, though she, I suspect, may be stronger. It's still hard to articulate, how that one thought opened me up to the possibility that each breath I take is a miracle, that each kindness is a precious stone, that I am rich beyond measure if I will only stop to count from time to time the splendor that is in front of me.
Basically Little, your passage opened to me the possibility of joy and gratitude in deeper ways than I had ever experienced before. I am less afraid. I am more alive. Because I learned to trust.
Finally with you I let go, I relinquished my death grip on control of things I had no real control over, and opened my hand to receive life. I chose trust instead of fear and that changed me, forever. I don't know, probably my first two were also this spectacular I was just unable to see it. You will always be linked in my mind with the blessing that came with you, which is perhaps as it should be.
But enough about me, let's talk about you. You are two years old, you are a delight.
You love to tidy. Poor you with a mama like me, wanting order when I am always in the shadow of just a little bit of clutter. You take great satisfaction in putting your own dishes in the sink, standing on tiptoe to push them over the edge of the counter and cause me to wince each time they clatter to the bottom of the sink, fully expecting one of them to shatter some day soon.
You dump out all of your blocks in the middle of the rug and then smile at me and pat the floor beside you, sweetly inviting me to spend some quality time cleaning them all up together. That's right, you don't play with them. You dump them out so you can put them away again, and then carry them back to their shelf while swinging your arms proudly and clapping your hands. It's your idea of togetherness time. Well, that and stories, puzzles, playing, and eating.
At breakfast you pat the bench beside you as I walk toward the table with my bowl. You are very satisfied when I sit next to you at your command. Then you shove your little bowl over until it is touching my big bowl, and you scootch yourself over until your arm is touching my arm and then turn your head to grin up at me before reaching your arm around and patting me in the middle of my back.
This isn't enough for you any more though. Lately in the middle of breakfast you will suddenly push your face into mine with with your lips pulled wide and a startling grimace on your face. I yelp obediently and you laugh and do it again, closer, until all I can see is teeth and inside out lips. Every time I whimper in mock fear you giggle, so I do it often.
You like this scaring people routine, you picked up a hippo puppet on night recently and walked toward your daddy with it, face all scrunched in a scary glower, and pretended to bite him with it. And he obligingly led you in a chase game all around the house.
You are always getting the Boy and Girl in trouble at bed time, distracting them with bids for their attention while they are supposed to be getting ready. Most often, if they are still not ready, it's because they have been chasing you through the house while you scream with delight.
You love to talk on the phone. As soon as I pick up you are there, pointing and saying, "Me! ayant to." [I want to, for those who don't speak Little.] Today your Oma in Canada called to wish you a happy birthday and you started pointing at your birthday decorations for her. Then you walked all over the house "showing" her things by picking them up and kindly holding them close to the phone so Oma could see them while intoning "Mine." When the object was too large to pick up you swept the phone grandly back and forth toward it so as to give her a full pan of the situation. It was vastly entertaining for me, and she didn't mind getting my shouted translations of what was going on.
You love to pose for pictures. You even ask me to take them. Then you tilt your head to the side and give me a big cheesy grin.
You wiggle your butt and shoulders rhythmically whenever there's music. You have turned hugs and kisses into an attack form.
Whenever I ask "Who farted?" you proudly thump your chest and yell, "ME!" It cracks me up every time. And then, just two days ago, when we were asking just for entertainments sake you suddenly pointed at the Boy and yelled, "Yi Yah!" Which was really very funny and we all laughed and you looked very pleased with yourself.
You really like the idea of a potty, and often like to sit on it, and then wash your hands and dry them like a big kid, but so far you haven't really figured out how to do the actual deed. I'm not in a hurry, quite frankly, but I let you try most times when you insist. I know you'll figure it out soon enough. Your own schedule seems to have worked out well for you so far.
You seem to have far too much personality to be packed inside such a tiny little body. Perhaps that's why you always seem about to bust at the seems.
The past two years with you have been full of joy, I'm looking forward to many more to come.