My dear Natalie,
You’re 2! Two whole years old. I know that lots of parents say this, but I really don’t know where the time has gone. It doesn’t seem at all possible that it was two full years ago that I heard your little choking cough as the doctor pulled you from my body, two years ago that your daddy held you to my cheek so I could smell your skin and look into your eyes for the first time, two years ago that my heart started living outside of my chest. You have made these two years mean everything to me and your daddy, and you made us a family in a way I never could have imagined.
You are such a smart cookie, kiddo. You know your colors and can count to 15. You are speaking in sentences and can identify a handful of shapes (star and heart are your favorites). You love trucks and trains, birds and fish, kitties and dolls. You love to describe yourself (you say you’re cute, funny, crazy, and adorable), and repeat pretty much anything we say. Your best friend is a little boy named Max, who you play with at daycare twice a week and always shares his raisins with you. We’ve heard rumors about another little boy calling you his girlfriend, but have been comforted by the fact that you don’t really seem to return the affection–you say he’s “naughty, naughty.”
You are a typical two-year-old in so many ways–you don’t always like to share, and you are quick to become shy around people you don’t know. But we have also seen you grow in those areas over the past couple of months–you are excited to have visitors at our house, and you love to show off your toys and tricks to anyone who is interested. You say “please,” “thank-you,” and “you’re welcome” and can be pretty easily distracted when you are frustrated or want something that you can’t have. I think you are going to become a rather polite kid, as well as a fiercely determined and independent one.
The more you grow and mature and become capable of, the more your daddy and I are constantly amazed, awed, and terrified. You “need” us less with every passing month, and although we always feel proud of what you can do, we are also filled with sadness and some fear about what it means to see you slipping out of babyhood. I think you really like being a toddler, it suits you so well. Since the day you were born you have been fighting to hit each milestone like it was all part of a race, and maybe this age is your finish line in some ways. You love that you can reach things, climb things, construct and take things apart, and that you have the right to your own opinion. You were made to be two, kid. Enjoy it.
You and I will spend your whole birthday together, and I am going to try to make it so special for you. Balloons, cake, stickers, and tea parties are on the agenda, as well as pretty much anything you request.
It’s your day, and you are my world. I love you so much!