Sunday, July 29, 2012

On your 2nd birthday

Dear Malcolm,

You're two years old! 


Two whole years old and you are so clearly your own person. With likes (stickers, soccer, strawberries and pirates,) dislikes (bees, toothpaste, the tribal masks on Uncle Tommy's wall and doing anything you don't want to do when you don't want to do it,) and full sentences (I love you, everyone!)

You just began to speak in full sentences in the last couple of weeks and it is so amazing to us. You also recently just began to refer to yourself in the first person instead of the third.

Malcolm no like it recently became: I don't like it.


Every day is filled with moments of parental pride for your dad and me.

You so clearly communicate what you need from us and we love that. Sometimes you "over- communicate" but you get that from your dad so I can't blame you. (Haha.)

You live life so fully and without any fear. We learn from you, Malcolm.


You go right up to kids at the playground to play. Sometimes they don't want to play with you, but you don't let that interfere for even a second with your own enjoyment.

Recently at the playground, there were some older kids sitting in a circle under the slide. They were about five years old and seemed to be making big plans. You saw them and wanted to be a part of whatever they were planning. So you went up to them and sat down. They looked at you and you started talking. All we could make out was every third word... which happened to be "Mommy." You went on for a minute or two -- Mommy this and Mommy that. I imagine you were saying,

"Guys, my mom is so awesome. Have you met her? My mommy is the best. Do you love your mommies? Because I love my mommy so much. I love just saying her name. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." 

After about a minute of that, the older kids got up and moved to another location to continue their secret plans. But that didn't impact you at all. You just went about playing. And I loved that.

You try again. And again. Because that's who you are. I always learn from you when I witness that fearlessness.

You play full out when you play. Sometimes that means you get hurt. Bumps on the head, bruises on the shins and scrapes on your knees. But that's part of growing up. You invite adventure into your life, but you always use caution. And as your mom, I so appreciate that. Thank you.

You love so many things. Here is a short and partial list of things you love these days:

Singing, playing soccer, playing baseball, running, pushing your baby stroller, playing in the sand, playing in the water, dancing, cuddling, playing stickers, coloring with markers, helping mommy cook and clean, playing with other kids, hide and seek, Pablo, trains, pirates, trucks, mac & cheese, reading, being read to and doing things "myself" or "Malcolm self."

You are generous. You share. Yes, sometimes you need a little encouragement in that department. But you always come around. "Here ya go" was one of the first complete sentences you spoke and spoke often.

My little fishy. You love the water. So much. Today we celebrated your birthday at the beach. When it was time for cake, you didn't want to leave the water. I had to carry you away from the water. After cake, it was time to go home for a nap. When you woke up from your nap, the first thing you said was, "Ocean. Ocean!"

Cuddle, Mommy. 


I think you say, "Cuddle, Mommy" more than anything. Times ten. And I am so lucky for that. This morning you didn't want to stop cuddling. I wanted to get up and get things done before your party. And then I thought, "It's Malcolm's birthday. And all he wants to do is cuddle with me. I think I can give him that gift." But it is truly more of a gift to me than you. Times ten.

I hope to always remember what it feels like to cuddle and be cuddled by my sweet little two year old boy. Because I know that this will truly be the most precious moment in my life. Everyone tells me to soak it up because it won't last forever. And I know that. And I try to freeze the moment as much as possible. But I know that like every other parent, I will get to a point where I will wonder where the time went and long for our morning cuddle sessions. That much is inevitable. Today I am grateful that you love to cuddle.

You stopped nursing this week


I hope that you won't be mad at me when you're a teenager for writing this. It's a big deal for us. Two years of nursing. I never thought we'd go that long. And this week we said "Bye bye" to Mommy's milk. I'm proud that we went as long as we did and I'm proud that we weaned without drama. Thank you so much for that. One day I'll tell you the whole story of how you weaned... but only if you want to hear it. (Other moms, contact me privately for the story. It's a good one.)

You're two. You're about to start pre-school. You're about to start potty training. You're rapidly gaining independence. Growing into your own. And making it impossible for me to fully express how I feel about it all. Two years ago your dad and I became parents, thanks to you. Two years ago we lived on a little island in the Pacific Northwest. We were just beginning to get to know you. Two years ago as I write this, we were still at Island Hospital with your Grammy Pammy and our tiny little newborn baby boy. We were in our bubble of joy.  

Drunk on the miracle of you.


Two years ago tomorrow, we brought you home on a ferry. (Your entire birth story is here and here if you ever want to read it.) We arrived with you at the farm house on the island and introduced you to our friends Juniper and Sean... and you met Pablo for the first time. You won't remember that moment, but Pablo will. What have they done?! I'm sure he was thinking. But he has grown to love you. When you cry, he cries. When you sleep in your room, he waits outside your door. Listening. Protecting. He forgives you when you pull his tail. Actually, pulled. Past tense. Thankfully, you are over that phase.

Two years ago we had no idea how we would travel from our little island to Chicago and then on to L.A. No idea. (It's still hard to believe.)

Some days you and your presence in our lives seems normal. Like, of course. And then I think... no. No! You are a miracle. You always will be. Because you weren't until you were. And are. And continue to be. Like all children. Here you are. How can we ever understand? How can I ever fully express what you mean to me? I can't. I try. Because I feel like I should be able to. But I always come up short. I procrastinated writing this birthday letter to you for this very reason. I kept thinking I'd find a way to say it. "It." The "it" that is surreal and escapes my abilities. The "it" is the miracle of you.

Right now you are snuggled with Daddy on the sofa watching your favorite movie at the moment - Muppet Treasure Island. You are filled up with beach time, grandparent time, friend time, sand play, water play, sticker play, strawberry and cream cake, presents, presents, presents and so much love.



Sometimes it feels impossible to love you more than I already do. And then I love you more. And guess what? I'm not the only one who feels that way. Your dad does and so do all of your grandparents and aunts and uncles. We love you and we are so proud of you, Malcolm.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy. As you grow, we grow.

I love you.

Love,

Mommy

P.S. Daddy made you this video for your birthday and it is one of your favorite things to watch again and again and again...



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