As I lay in bed tonight at 11:58pm, reveling in a quiet house, I started thinking about how your body grew inside of mine, and I was astonished all over again. I could almost feel those first jerky, twisty fetal movements, could almost remember the feeling of my smooth, hard lower belly resting against my upper thighs in this same bed, when I was pregnant with you.
Since that day, we've laughed about a million times at your silly antics, nursed thousands, shared buckets of tears, stumbled through days sleep-deprived.
But mostly, we've learned to be more thankful than we ever have in our lives. Because somehow, these two ordinary folks have been entrusted with an incredibly precious gift: You.
How has it been one whole year since we celebrated your last birthday, both Korean and Italian style? In the last year, you've nestled yourself even more deeply into our lives, and it feels like you've always been here, even more comfortable than when you're nestled into the crook of my arm, sleeping. This year you learned to walk and run and speak in sentences, made new friends, had your first battle wound. You became a lover of ice cream, swimming, painting, exploring.
On the day you turned two, July 9th, we took a walk in the neighborhood to buy you six colorful balloons, little replicas of those from one of your favorite movies, Up. You bounced around for hours, your head arched up to the sky, chasing after them with two-year-old delight.
A few days later, we had celebration #2, surrounded by some of your favorite people. You filled your tummy with juicy Texas watermelon and vanilla coconut cupcakes with chocolate icing. You wore your apron like Mommy, and we shared tea in wooden tea cups. When we gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday" you looked as if you might burst into tears from the all the eyes on you, and then sure enough, you did. But Daddy scooped you right into his arms, and as you clung to his strong shoulders, you were quickly comforted. Then, you were content to sit in your chair, licking only the rich chocolate icing off each cupcake and decorating each one with an entire bag of paper umbrellas.
There are so many things I want to remember about this time, and the days pass so quickly! So here are some fun and unique things about you at age TWO...
- Your favorite game in the entire world is when you run to your bed and jump under the covers yelling, "Bear comin'! Bear comin'!" Then you insist that Mommy and Daddy (and whoever else is in our house, including stuffed animals) get under the covers with you in your "fert" (fort).
- You can count to 4 and seem to favor the color blue.
- The other day, you just started singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" by yourself with hand motions. We haven't listened to that song in ages. What else is stored in that little brain of yours?
- When someone sneezes, you say, "Ishoo!" (bless you).
- When it's time for a nap, you say, "Foof! I'm tired."
- The other night before bed, you ran into the kitchen saying, "Me hungry!" You wanted to eat an egg and some "ut butter" (peanut butter).
- One of your favorite summer activities has been picking "toes" (tomatoes) from the garden and sticking them in your pocket, even the green ones. Let's just say we didn't have much of a tomato crop this year!
- You love to sit on the countertop and watch us cook. "I see cookin'?" you ask, eagerly. When it's time to check whatever is in the oven, you run in to the kitchen screaming, "CHECK?! Mommy, CHECK!?"
- You'll never turn down "ice keem." You go to the freezer at least once a day and try to pull the door open with all your might!
Luci Belle, our lives now have a space that is only filled by you. I hope I always remember these days filled with new words and experiences and joy and curiosity.
Being your mother has changed me. If I thought marriage has shown me how selfish and sinful I am, how much more motherhood has. Every single day I need Jesus, His grace and your grace when I fail, supernatural energy to keep up with your fiery little spirit.
It's my daily challenge to help foster and encourage your passion in a positive direction rather than squelching it out of frustration, to correct and nurture and inspire. Thank you for being patient with your mama; I'm learning too. You're fire and I'm water, but somehow we go together better than ut butter and jelly.
Happy two years, sweet girl!