It’s hard to believe that now you are two.
I can’t even begin to fathom how it was only two years ago that we were still in those first days of our new life as a family of three, marveling over all your tiny features, holding and snuggling you close every moment that we could, adjusting to our new normal. It felt so surreal that you were finally here, that you were ours, that it was no longer just the two of us. But now… I can’t imagine things being any other way.
I don’t think the reality of your toddlerhood really hit me until I saw our family pictures from this October. I remember sitting at the computer, your daddy next to me, scrolling through all the photos in our gallery. That’s when it hit me: he’s not my baby anymore. You’re so tall, so grown up, a little boy with bruised shins and an impish grin on his face. When I look at our pictures from the same time last year side by side with the new ones, it really puts into perspective just how much you’ve changed.
When you turned two, I think it was the first time that I really felt the grip of panic that came with the realization that time is fleeting. It suddenly hit me that just a few short years from now, you’ll be headed off to Kindergarten. And I know that one day, I’ll be watching you drive away on your own, watching you walk across the stage at your graduation, watching you start your own life, and wonder where my baby boy went.
I will admit that it’s easy for me to get caught up in the everyday — the challenges, the frustrations, the hard work of parenting — and wish the hours away. I’m trying so hard to remember to soak up the little moments with you and treasure the time that we have together.
You amaze me every day with the things that you are learning and all the ways you are growing and changing. It has been so fun to hear your language developing and watch you learn to express yourself — your wants, your needs, your feelings, your observations. I know how frustrating it is that we don’t always understand what you saying, but I promise I will always do my best to let you know that I hear you and that what you have to say is so, so important to me. Keep trying, buddy. Keep trying to tell me what you are feeling, and I will keep working to understand you. Always.
Most of all, I love the warm and kind and loving and compassionate little person you are. I don’t think anything shows me that more than the last seven months as you became a big brother. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to think about what life would have looked like right now if things had turned out differently. You are such a perceptive little guy, and I worried about how my sadness and heartbreak was affecting you. I didn’t know how we would ever explain our loss to you, or if you even really understood what becoming a big brother meant to begin with. But the depth of your understanding, your compassion, has amazed me these last four months. I love that our angel baby is part of your story, and my hope and my prayer is that you will always share the same love and tenderness you have given us in this sad time with others.
I love you so much, my kind, smart, hilarious, energetic, compassionate little boy. Happy birthday… I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us!
Love you always,