First post in over a year! Go me! I’m a blogging machine! Well, to be fair, we have been a little busy – new house, new baby and lots of other things. But I’m gradually finding a little bit of time and energy for my passions – running and writing – again. Of course, I’ll totally need to rebalance again after starting back to work in a couple weeks.

Last year I wrote my daughter a letter for her first birthday and decided I’d write her one every year until she turns 18. I finally finished her 2nd birthday letter. A little late, but the beauty of her being 2 is that she has no idea! Thought I’d share it here and try to get into the habit of posting a little more regularly.

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My darling daughter,

How is it possible? You are two years old. Happy birthday!

Make a wish!

Make a wish!

A month ago we went to your cousin’s first birthday party, where the theme was “The Hungry Caterpillar.” The metamorphosis of that hungry caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly made me think about change – and how you have handled so much of it this last year.

You went through a metamorphosis of your own right before our very eyes – from a baby taking her first cautious steps on wobbly, chubby legs to a little girl who runs and dances her way through each day.

You grew from saying your first words – daddy, mommy, hi, bye – to talking a blue streak about anything and everything. Your first full sentence, other than “Hi Mom” or “Hi Dad” was “You sit here,” spoken as you sat on our bottom step and patted the space next to you so that we would sit with you and sing songs.

And there have been big changes in your life too – we bought a house and moved from the only home you ever knew, and shortly after that, my belly started growing bigger and bigger as we prepared for your baby brother’s arrival.

I must admit that while I was so excited to welcome your brother into our family, I felt a little sad too. You were used to having Daddy and me all to yourself, and I worried about needing to split our attention. You are my little girl, my first baby. I didn’t want you to ever feel pushed aside, to have to wait for us, even though I knew it would be necessary sometimes – the reality of caring for a newborn.

When he was born, my love for you grew even more as I watched you with him. Sure, you get impatient with him and us sometimes. (You are 2, after all. I recall one incident where you “accidentally” hit him in the head with your sippy cup. Twice.) But, you also love to stroke his hair, help me change his diaper and rock him in his car seat or swing when he cries. Your brother already watches everything you do with interest – he obviously recognizes how cool you are – and I love that you will grow up together. He is very lucky to have you as a big sister.

Here’s a little bit about who you are at 2. You are loving, funny and headstrong. You are obsessed with “Frozen” and do an amazing rendition of “Let it Go,” complete with dramatic hand movements. You also love Winnie the Pooh, Pharrell’s “Happy”, the Beatles and Foster the People (whom you call “Foster the Popo”).

Your best buddy is Hugo (your stuffed giraffe), followed by Elmo and Coconut (a stuffed polar bear).

You love cheese, cereal bars, pizza, yogurt, berries, sweet potatoes, carrots and milk. You still refuse to eat almost all meat. But we finally got you to eat pancakes! (I realize this is not a huge nutritional win. But your parents love pancakes; you need to eat them to fit in around here.)

You are always on the move, which often wears us out! But your zest for life is beautiful. You love dancing and any outdoor activity – going for walks (you prefer to walk on your own rather than ride in the stroller), blowing bubbles, gathering rocks, going down the slide at the park and running, running, running pretty much everywhere. You also like art – creating things with crayons, paint and stickers. You love going to school and playing with your friends.

As I’ve watched you grow and tackle so many changes over the last year, it’s made me very aware of the rapid passage of time. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were a little baby? Now you’re a big girl who wants to do everything herself.

My favorite part of each day is when I put you to bed at night. Our typical bedtime routine goes like this: Daddy gets you ready for bed (bath, pjs, teeth brushed) while I watch your brother. Then I come up to read you a story, sing you a song and tuck you in.  You sit in my lap in the rocking chair, and there is a moment while I’m singing your lullaby – either “My Girl” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – when you turn in to me, tuck your head under my chin and against my chest and sigh, relaxing into my body. No matter what has happened that day – however stressed or tired I might be – it is pure peace and bliss, the kind of moment for which I am totally present and think – “This is it. This is what being a mother is all about.”

Me with my favorite girl

Me with my favorite girl

After I finish singing, I always whisper two questions – “You know you’re my favorite girl in the whole world, right?” – and “You know I love you very much, right?” You respond with a casual, “Yeah,” as if the answer to both is so obvious it barely needs to be spoken.

No matter what changes come our way – and there will be many; this is life, after all – those two things will remain constant. You will always be my favorite girl in the world. And I will always love you so very much.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl. It’s been an amazing two years. I can’t wait to see what changes your third year brings.

 

3 Responses to Happy 2nd Birthday!

  1. Denise Pitchford says:

    Janice,

    Once again, a wonderful blog! It’s like you haven’t skipped a beat with your writing. I was so excited this morning when I saw the post that you wrote an entry and came rushing into the computer to read it!!!

    This past year for you has gone by so fast with all the major events in your life, but it is ALL GOOD! Yes, Isabelle has grown up so fast this past year and it has been wonderful watching her grow. She warms my grandmother’s heart in a way only a grandmother knows. And as for you, Janice, you have matured into an even more beautiful woman and wear the motherhood hat proudly and with ease. So glad you have gotten out to run and also to start writing again! My mother’s heart beams with love for you in all you do! I love you, Mom

  2. Kim Erickson says:

    Oh Janice…I am so soooo glad that you don’t write more…I would surely need to invest in more boxes of tissue. I love, love, love reading your letters because it so deeply touches me. You are such an amazing writer with a fabulous gift. Motherhood truly is the BEST job I have ever had and you capture it perfectly!!!!! Big hugs friend. I miss you!!!!

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