Lila, today you are two years old and that simple fact is so hard to believe.
It’s hard to comprehend that two years ago I went into labor, and that for every day since the entire world has been a different, more remarkable place.
Two years ago you came into the world in a very big hurry and have hardly paused since.
When people ask me what you’re like, I say that you’re my favorite human and that I want to be like you when I grow up.
You live so boldly in the moment – unaware of any sort of negativity or concern, and simply go about your business as you see fit. You shriek and chatter with joy and rarely stop moving. You are very busy and intentional. You love commanding the dogs: “Molly, ahh you? Inside, cool down!” “Boo-boo, Shh! Quiet, baby sleeping.”
You enjoy: puzzles, being silly, playing in water (hose, sprinklers), marching in circles around the house with Dada and the dogs following you, playing night-night in silly places, bringing ice to anyone with an owie, swimming and helping with laundry. You sweetly narrate life and describe your surroundings…”blue car, white truck, big moon, birdie, trash!”
You are very aware of other peoples’ feelings and often point them out, which I pridefully believe is toddler emotional intelligence.
You are mischievous when: you draw all over the floor or yourself, and refuse to let anyone help you brush your teeth.
Your common phrases: One more book, tiny baby (used to describe anything small), Yi-la try it, No mama Yi-la help.
Your favorite books: The Little Engine that Could, Hop on Pop, Good Night Laila Tov, your Elmo Search and Find Book.
Your favorite foods: You eat everything, but love avocado, pancakes, frozen green beans, hummus and fruit.
My favorite times with you are: when you first wake up and have crazy bed hair and are all smushy and snuggly as you reach to be lifted out of your crib, and after your bath when you run around wild and naked, strategically avoiding bedtime.
I know the tipping point will come soon – when unavoidable negative influences start to infiltrate your life, whether it’s from TV commercials or kids at school or strangers in the grocery store, and I hate the very idea of it. I want your head and heart to be forever free of the darker things in life. But that’s impossible, to every parent’s dismay. So rather than feebly trying to shield you from it – I want to teach you to learn from these experiences. To be aware of your feelings and the world around you, and use this knowledge to help you grow.
I could never put into words how much I love you, but you’re the reason my heart beats. You’re my first thought in the morning and my last thought before bed and everything in between. Happy second birthday, sweet girl, and thank you for the endless joy. You are a gift.