Today we are celebrating your second birthday. Although you won’t actually be two till Monday, two years ago today, is the day that my labor started at three in the afternoon. Ten hours later, you were born. I cannot say it enough, but the moment I birthed you, the moment I held you in my arms was one of the most awe-inspiring, sacred moments of my life. Becoming a mother, or rather, becoming your mother has forged in my heart a deeper love for others, for your Dad, for myself and of course for you. Did you know that your birth is what placed me on the path to becoming a doula? I honestly can say, that if it weren’t for you I would not have found this calling. So thanks for that little one.
The other day you fell asleep in my arms. It was nap time and we had a very busy day, so when we sat down in the rocker next to your crib to read our books, Dozen Dogs, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Snowing, to sing our songs and to pray, you were fast asleep before the books were even read. I couldn’t help but hold on to you there, in the quiet of that afternoon, clinging to that special moment, begging for the rush of life to briefly stop. Your little 25lb body was curled around my pregnant belly, your head resting in the nook of my arm, your mouth open, tiny breathes in and out.Your hands were soft and relaxed. I had to take you in, I hadn’t had a moment like this with you since you were tiny. You don’t like to sleep anywhere but your crib, so having you asleep in my arms was a treat.
I stopped and noticed your long eye lashes. Where did you get those? I think they’re from Daddy, maybe. And your hair…we wondered for a long time what color it would be, but now we know its blonde. When I brush it in the mornings I think it looks like corn silk. I never imagined I would have a blonde little girl, and I’m delighted by this. You get your blonde hair from Daddy too. You’ve got the sweetest little dimple on the right side of your cheek – exactly where Daddy’s has his, and when you were asleep in my arms, you smiled and that little dimple made its appearance. I couldn’t resist, I had to put my index finger right there on the spot where it hides.
Everyday day, twice a day we pray together, before your nap time and your bed time. We say the same prayer each time. I start out with the words, “Dear Jesus…” and you now repeat me. I’m not sure you know what that means, but I’m pretty sure that Jesus listens more when you say His name than when I say it. I ask Him to give you sweet dreams and to cover you with His love. I ask that He allow you to feel comforted and safe while you sleep (at least two hours I always add). I ask Him to give you wisdom and intelligence, beauty (from the inside out), a kind, gentle and happy heart, self-control, healthy emotions, healthy mind and healthy body. I also ask that you would always know how much God loves you and Mommy and Daddy love you too. And then I say, “Amen” and you say it too. Then I kiss and hug you and you wrap your chubby arm around my neck and say, “hugs and kisses” right into my ear. I tell you I love you so much and you repeat back to me, “so much.” If I hold on to you too long, you start saying, “nigh, night” over and over till I place you in your crib with your blanky, paci, your bear and rabbit, your books and your sippy cup with water. I touch your face as I say “sweet dreams” and you repeat “sweet dreams” back to me. I turn out the light and leave the room telling you how much I love you. Sometimes you say, “I love you too,” and when you do it I feel as though I’ve got fireworks exploding in my heart.
You’re smart as a whip, too. You’re already counting to ten and working on your colors and shapes. How did that happen? I think it’s because you love to read and some of your favorite books are about colors, shapes and numbers. Your favorite toys are your books, along with your blocks, your puzzles, your markers, your paints and your scooping beans. You’re also a fanatic about Baby Einstein. For a while it was Jacks Big Music Show and Yo Gabba Gabba, but lately you’ve left them in the dust for “Einstein.” I’m pretty happy about that, because frankly, Yo Gabba Gabba is a little strange.
You are repeating everything we are saying these days, which means we have to be very careful what we do say in front of you. I can’t say my favorite swear word anymore and Daddy can’t say his either, which is good, because Mommy never cared for Daddy’s favorite bad word very much.
You love to talk about animals, and you seem more interested in your toy animals than your baby doll. You’re not interested in girly toys one bit. Which is okay with me. I’m a bit of a feminist and think that it’s a good idea for us not to assume we’re all princesses anyway. But I promise, if for your third birthday you want to wear a crown and a pink frilly dress you can and I’ll be just as delighted about that as I am about your choice to wear tiger ears right now.
You like to sing, which is no surprise to me. It’s in your DNA. The other day, I had some music playing and you pointed to the stereo and said, “It’s music!” For some reason, that made me VERY happy.
You are a very gentle, easy, happy girl. Thank you for that. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with me.
Did you know that your brother will be here in about a month? I don’t think you really know what’s about to happen, and that worries me. How will you respond? I know you won’t be the first little girl to get a new sibling. This cycle has been happening for a long time, and the great thing about children is that you guys are very adaptable. So I’ll try not to project my worries about how I think you’ll respond to a baby brother on to you. You’ll be okay, and it’s likely that you’ll actually love having a brother to play with and love and care for.
However, I promise to try my best to continue to provide you all the love and care you need to grow to be a healthy, happy, strong young woman. I think my heart will grow to love you even more when your brother arrives. It seems love can easily multiply.
Dear Zoe, please remember that love begets love.
With all the love in the world,