On Monday, you are two years old.
Two years ago Monday, you were born. You are this many (I'm holding up two fingers). No longer this:
(Your first school picture. *Melt*)
You're going to have to forgive me, Bubbie, because this letter is going to be tear-jerker. Probably not for you, and probably not for most people reading this, but for me. Definitely for me. Because I am currently writing this while you are off on a weekend getaway with your Dad, to be a flower girl in your cousin's wedding.
And I am missing it. And missing you.
How do I even begin to talk about the last year. Believe me, it's been a whirlwind for both of us. Last year at this time you were playing with your birthday cupcake (and not eating it):
And I was... well, let's just say I was trying to keep my cupcake, along with anything else I ate, in my stomach. I'd just found out that you were going to be a big sister...
... and I was scared. It seems like forever ago.
You've done all the things a little girl is supposed to do by this point. You walk, you sing, you talk. And talk. And talk. Just yesterday, when I asked you what you wanted for breakfast and brought the requested yogurt to your highchair you said, 'Great job, Mommy!'
And every time you hear your brother cry you say, 'Aw, Mister! It's okay, Mister!'
And every time Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood comes on you sing, 'It's such a good feeling, A very good feeling...' all the way through to 'I will, too.'
And it never, ever gets old.
But this is not to say that you are not a normal two-year-old girl figuring out her place in this world. Over the past few months, you have become the pickiest eater I've ever seen, so much so that it's a wonder you're still alive based on your diet of string cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and the occasional pudding cup.
You don't even like juice. Or pizza. What you do like is PANERA mac and cheese, whipped cream, and anything confined to a squeeze pouch. Oh, and hard boiled eggs. Not exactly the most refined pallet, Spunkeroo.
And then there are the tantrums. Keep in mind that when I told your preschool teacher you threw your first tantrum last week she looked at me like I was crazy. ('My daughter has been throwing tantrums since she was nine months old,' she told me. Oops.) But you, my sweet, darling angel, my beautiful, perfect little cherub...
Me neither. But we're working on it.
I have so many things to say to you on this second birthday. That I'm so glad you are such a wonderful, devoted big sister:
That you are so ridiculously beautiful that sometimes it keeps me up at night, praying that you never, ever date. Like, ever.
That the mere sight of you in the morning is enough to make me smile, that when we play Play Doh together it is the most joyful time of my day, that when I pick you up from school and you run to me and say, 'Mommy! Mommy!' I have to catch my breath sometimes, knowing that it is enough, that you are enough, that if this world were to crumble tomorrow I would have known the happiest a person could ever be, being your Mom.
Happy, happy birthday to my wonderful girl. I love you as much today as I ever did, as I ever will, which will always be eternally.