Wait. What?! You're two years old now! How in the world did you get so big? I'm suddenly singing Louis Armstrong's "Sunrise, Sunset" and tearing up. In just a week you'll be starting school. It seems that you were but 8 pounds 9 ounces yesterday. How do you weigh 32 pounds today? Or is it 31 after that huge poop you took this morning?
Whatever your weight is, I'm utterly overwhelmed by the fact that you're growing so quickly.
In spite of all the warnings that you were coming and all the books I'd read on parenting and labor, nothing could prepare me for the ridiculously rewarding experience of giving birth to such a magnificent creature.
When I was pregnant with you, I wasn't sure if I was cut out for the experience of motherhood.
I had been willing to change my lifestyle for you, but I was terrified by the fact that my life would no longer revolve just around me. I feared my depression and consistent feelings of shame about the way I've led my life might get in the way of raising you. And, to be completely honest, sometimes they do; but you give me the will to keep fighting through all the downs so that we can enjoy the ups.
I will always remember the day you were born as the day my life changed for the better.
But, I can tell you right now, I love your kisses and hugs and the way you run out of the building, ecstatic to finally be outside.
I love how cute you look when you clap and open your mouth wide whenever you draw a circle or throw a diaper in the garbage.
I love the way you happily hand me my second flip-flop when you see me putting on the first.
You've taught me to try new things, to be more observant, to make the most of our precious time together, to laugh unsparingly but cry as needed and to remember that life is majestic, each a person a miracle.
You have made me a better woman. Thank you.
But for every tear that has dropped from my eyes, I have many more moments full of laughter and smiles because of you. Giving birth to you is the best thing I ever did. I value your life, your spirit, your future.
Your adventurous nature and fun-loving personality show through your face every day. Your smile shows you love life, which makes me love life too. Your laughter over the silliest things, like the dog you used to sleep with barking at a squirrel or me stubbing my toe on the TV stand, makes me laugh along with you. You show me just how much care you hold in your heart by trying to share every cheese doodle or piece of pasta you've saturated with spit with me.
You are my miracle. You are my heart.
Every milestone you reach, every word you utter, every puzzle you learn to complete is a step forward in your life and in mine.
I pray that I can raise you to be a good person, to make better life decisions than I have. And I promise to always be there for you no matter what trouble may come our way. In the meantime, I hope to treasure each moment of your smallness because one day you'll be an adult, and I'll really miss these days when you beg to be picked up and cradled and love to give me kisses.
No matter what kinds of attitudes you may go through in your terrible twos, pesky teenage years or stubborn college days, I will ALWAYS love you.
I will always love you because, in the words of my mama, "You will always be my baby."
Pouring her heart out to you on your 2nd birthday.
Have you ever written a letter to your child? What did it say?
What would be the most important thing for you to tell your child in a letter on their birthday?