My sweet Adeline,
I can’t even begin to figure out how you’re almost two years old. These past two years have been the fastest two years of my entire life. It may sound cliché but on one hand it feels like you were a newborn just yesterday, and on the other it feels like you’ve been a part of our lives for an eternity. I have a hard time remembering life before you came along, and I think it’s because I was a different person, who saw the world much differently than I do now. I don’t think you’ll ever understand how big of an impact you’ve had on me until you become a mother yourself one day. It’s unfathomable how much your heart and perspective changes when the focus of your entire world shifts to a little tiny human. There aren’t enough words to describe what it’s been like to be your mom so far, so let’s just agree it’s been the best thing ever.
You’ll be 23 months old in exactly 11 days. And then it’s the one month countdown until your second birthday. Somehow, just like everyone told me, you quickly grew out of the baby phase and ran full speed ahead to the toddler phase. You changed in ways I can’t even remember because looking back every single day you seemed like a different baby and now it’s all just a blur.
After you learned to walk, you morphed into the sweetest, most vivacious little girl, complete with a silly personality I know you inherited from your dad. It’s September now, and thinking back to January of this year makes me remember how much I loved the 15-18 month stage. I swore it was my favorite age.
I’m pretty sure I dressed you up in every outfit we owned at least once because I knew you’d outgrow them so quickly. I loved this stage with you because you still held on to a little bit of your baby attributes – your barely- there teeth, your chubby cheeks, your tiny feet (you’ve always had such small feet and it’s rather adorable!), your thigh rolls and knee rolls, and your willingness to be independent but not far from Mommy. You discovered playgrounds, and loved the thrill of going down a slide by yourself. You also discovered what it feels like to run along a path with the wind in your hair. You babbled mama and dada and ball, and I dreamed about what your voice would sound like when you started really talking. You started coloring and developed an affinity for anything that writes. You became obsessed with dogs. You walked around confidently like you’d been walking your whole life and quickly mastered finding your way around church and school. With each month that passed it seemed like you became a little girl more and more and I swore I didn’t want the next month to come because I loved you exactly as you were.
But then we flew right past 18 months, and into the 19-24 month stage. And this my dear, has been my favorite stage yet. Without a doubt. My heart almost hurts I love you so much, and I so wish I could bottle up time and keep you this age forever. You are a wild child, with a free spirit. You have the sweetest heart, and I hope it’s never broken. You are gentle with Truckee and love her as if she were your noble steed. You are an observer, and like to check things out before jumping in. You don’t mind doing your own thing, and just like Mommy you like unwinding with a good tv show after a long day. You love to “culuurrr” and I think I’ve saved everything you’ve ever colored on.
Your pigtails melt me and I swear you could get away with murder. You are attached to your fuzzy flower blanket, and any stuffed animal you can get your hands on. Seeing you find comfort in them reminds me just how little you still are. You love your paci, maybe a little too much, and I’m going to need therapy the day we take it away from you. Your voice is the most precious sound in the world, especially when you pop around the corner and say, “Hi Mommy!” I literally can’t even.
The littlest things make you happy, and I’m so thankful you radiate joy. You know what you want, and are determined and headstrong just like both your parents. You give the best super hugs, gentle tongue kisses, and when you lay your head on my shoulder I feel my knees go weak. When you walk around, you walk with this cute little bounce and confident stride like you own the place. When you start to giggle, we get a clear view of your mouth full of teeth and that dimple on your cheek I hope you never outgrow. I’ve given up on letting you cry it out, and putting you to bed without rocking you because I know there will come a time when I’ll wish I had spoiled you more, held you more, snuggled you more.
Almost every answer now days is a firm “no!” even though sometimes your no actually means yes. (It’s quite confusing at times.) You’d rather your hair be messy and tangled, than put up in a sprout, pigtails, or bows, though you’ll typically oblige with a bow long enough for a picture. You are a true girly girl, and are so excited when you get to wear a new pair of shoes. A girl after my own heart! You know who your family is, and love all of your cousins like they’re your best friends. You are opinionated and insist on picking out your outfit everyday. You’re a girl who likes choices, and won’t settle for a snack unless you get to choose it. You love popsicles, crackers (“my crac-KER!”), and pizza (“pizzi”).
You are thriving in school, or daycare, or whatever society wants to call it. You are learning so much everyday, and I almost cried one day after a long weekend when all of your classmates exclaimed, “Adeline!” as you called through the door. I think you’re going to be a good friend, and I’m already certain you’re a teacher’s pet. At pickup, you run towards me as fast as you can after spotting me. You yell “Mommy!” and then a giant hug ensues. After a hug, you run back to show me whatever thing you were playing with or working on at the time. Most days it’s near impossible to get you to leave, and what a blessing that actually is.
You’ve taken our big move like a champ, and have adjusted so well. I feel like you’re getting the childhood I prayed you would, and I can tell you’re happy. You love your backyard and sidewalks so much, and if it were up to you we’d play outside from sun up to sun down. (Unless it’s really hot, then you’re not a fan. “It’s haawwt” you say.) You become braver by the day, and I can foresee gymnastics in your future, you little climber! I’m dying to take you to the zoo and the children’s museums because I know you will get a kick out of them! Speaking of zoos, when we ask you what an elephant says you lift up your arm and spit like it’s a trunk. Cows say meeww, sheeps say baawwww, horses say naaay, and monkeys say eee eee.
It’s been a big year in our world so far, little girl. It can be a scary and dangerous place, but we pray every night that God will protect you when we can’t be there. I hold you a little tighter every time I pick you up because I can feel you getting bigger and bigger. Time seems to be slipping through my fingers and I can’t figure out how to stop it. One day you won’t want to be picked up, and one day you won’t grab my hand and pull me to where you want to go. I love that even though you’re so much more independent now, and you want to run off and be a big girl, you still point at the space next to you so that Mommy will sit down beside you. You still reach up your arms so I’ll pick you up, climb up on the couch (usually when I’m holding a hot cup of coffee), and point to the backseat of the car because you want me to be right there with you.
I love you so much, Adeline! I love every second we spend together, and look forward to every weekend when we can play ’till our hearts desire! You’re my little buddy now, my sidekick, and I love having you around to run errands with. You are a good little shopper, and I love the conversations we have together. (Cart conversations are the best, even though you actually call it a buggy. I’m pretty proud of that because that’s what I call them too. Daddy calls them carts, hehe)
I think when I dreamed about having a little girl, this is the stage I saw in my dreams. I loved when you were a baby, but being able to communicate with you, and watch you experience the world around you, is nothing short of amazing. I’m so proud of my hilarious and goofy little girl, and I can’t believe you are the same child I brought home from the hospital. You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and you’ve made life a million times sweeter. Your facial expressions are enough to make my entire day, and I always try to engrain them into my memory. I hope you know how precious to us you are. One day I hope I can share with you just how special this season of life has been and how thankful I am to be your mommy.
Cheers to your last month as a one year old! Let’s make this month the best month ever, and see what kind of fun we can get into! If you could just stop growing, that would be great.
Forever and always,