You turn two today. If we’re being honest, I wrote this three days ago because I knew I’d be crying uncontrollably if I sat down to do it today. And here I sit, barefoot on the couch with my laptop buzzing, waiting for you to wake up from the nap you thankfully still take every day. Life is moving so fast now, little one. It’s hard to take pause, but it’s important to. Today you inch a little closer toward being a child, farther away from being a baby. Two feels big to me, now. In a few years and then forever after that, it’ll seem incredibly small. I’ll want to reach back and grab it. I know I will, darling. I already do.
Sometimes we have hard days. You’re strong-willed like both your parents. You’re fierce and wild, not a fan of instruction, mostly. But more often than that, these days with you are lovely. There are times I wish I worked more hours, made more money, could do more things for you. Each time I feel the pull to go figure out a way to do that, I’m drawn right back to you. I’d rather be here and watch you, consume it all for a while. I’ll watch to reach back and grab it, baby. I already do.
When you were born, you were so tiny, but I already knew you. I knew you right away. Your kindness, your cuddliness, your intelligence. It was so apparent from the start. Brand-new, you were already more than my daughter. But a best friend, pink and sweet. Wrapped up in blankets and kisses, muttering as you slept, pouty lower lip protruding, tiny fingers curled around my own. I want to reach back and grab it, baby. I already do.
As a toddler you’ve been lovely, spunky, and cool. You adore accessories, mostly sunnies and bows. Both words you can say now, and clearly. I don’t know where all your quirks come from, some learned from us and some inherent. You want to be just like me, baby, for now you do. I love the way you snuggle in for a little while before and after sleep. I’m your gateway to play and dreams, and it’s a role I cherish. I’ll want to reach back and grab it, baby. I already do.
At your party you’ll be so pretty in your sweet little dress and shoes. Chasing the other kids, spilling strawberries on the rug, giggling wickedly when you do. Crown tilting, eyes wide, you’ll remember to blow out your candle. I can’t believe you already understand so much, at only two-years-old. I can hardly wait to see your face light up at your gifts, for you are one of the most appreciative little girls I’ve known. You adore attention, toys, and cards. You relish in the feeling that others care. This is an amazing quality, to be grateful for the love of others. I know you’ll reach back and grab it, baby. It’ll always be a part of you.
When you grow up, year by year, I’ll cry a little more. Farther from my arms you’re running, but I couldn’t be prouder of who are you. I know you’ll surprise us so much more than you already have. I want you to know I’ll always have your back, whatever you decide. Life was always good, I promise. I was grateful for it all. But now that you are in it, I can’t imagine anything else. Your heart is golden as your smile and I couldn’t be luckier that you’re mine. So yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I’ll hold on as tight as I can. These days of flushed cheeks, chubby fingers, downy bangs in ponytails, piles of tiny laundry, and giggles are fleeting. I’ll want to reach back and grab it, baby. I already do.