To my dear Benjamin, on your second birthday

My darling child, I love you so much. With every day that goes by, I am so grateful that you are in my life and that I have the wonderfully good fortune to spend so much time with you every day. You are truly an amazing joy to be around. You are so smart and strong and loving. I love you so very, very much. It is hard for me to believe that you are two already. It is startling how rapidly the time passes. You are quickly leaving your babyhood behind and becoming a wonderful little boy. (Of course, you are still my baby – I still call you that, and I suspect that will be a hard habit for me to break, so forgive me in advance.)

You are changing and growing so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with you. But, you are very patient, yet persistent, in teaching us what you are trying to tell us. Your vocabulary, and your ability to communicate your words, improves every day. A few months ago, I sat down to catalog the words that you use, and after getting to 50 words, I stopped counting, knowing that there were dozens I had not yet gotten around to writing down. You’ve added so many since that time. Most recently, you’ve learned to say, “I know where Daddy. Daddy go work”, and “Go see” whatever the object of your desire is, and “What doing Mama?” and “helicopter” and “airplane” (you can tell these apart by the sound they make) and when we ask you where something is, you will either tell us “I don’t know?” while you shrug and frown, or “Right there”. You can also imitate the sound of most animals: cats, dogs, horses, cows, goats, sheep, ducks, pigs, birds, owls, beetles, donkeys, elephants and others that I’m certain I’m missing.

You’re so interested and aware of what is happening in your world. You’re still always asking what things are and where people are going (“Ooo ti?” and “Where going Mama/Daddy/Gammy?” respectively). You are always pointing things out to us, like the garbage truck (“boggy”) the lawn mowers (“mowing”) and other things that you see, like taxicabs (“tah-kyab”) and once a purple van (said exactly that way). When we’re out for a walk, you insist on walking over speed bumps (and you ask by saying, “Walk speed bump!”). You often see things we don’t see or don’t notice – we have definitely learned to doubt ourselves and to trust you if you say that you see something we don’t – you’re usually right. I wish I could perfectly capture every aspect of how you communicate and describe your world. It is so delightful and you are so good at it. You see and know and understand so much, and each day you add to your way of explaining it to us.

You are the sweetest child I have ever met, as well. You are so cuddly and loving. You love to give us hugs and kisses, and you often ask about your family when they aren’t here (Gammy, Tope Tan, Two Tope, Uncle Pete, Adam, Mina, Nick, Gampa, Jo, Marggie, Sam and even Gordy, the dog). Anytime you accidentally hurt someone (usually by throwing a ball a little too hard or some other impressive physical feat gone wrong – never on purpose) you get so sad until you can give a hug and a kiss to tell us you’re sorry. You love to give us high-fives. You cuddle your toys and stuffed friends every day – they all have names, and you get concerned when someone has gone missing. You often bring them along to meals, baths, naps and on outings. Oh, and you love your dog. You tell Bailey he’s a “good dog” and give him lots of pats every day. When he’s not in the room, you often ask, “Where Bailey go?” and some of your favorite activities are walking Bailey and “play dog play”. (The latter is your version of playing fetch with Bailey – which you were able to teach him, and we never were, despite your dad making a great deal of effort in that direction years ago.) It is so sweet to see you show your love and affection for everyone in your life.

You are also so strong, balanced and agile. You love to go to the park and play – to run and jump and climb and slide and swing. You love to throw a ball (and your aim is really good). You ride on your daddy’s back around the house, but it’s really just an excuse to jump off headfirst (although you’re confident that he will catch you – and he does). You climb the furniture in ways we can’t foresee, and then launch yourself off with balance, coordination and wild abandon. You are a nonstop force of nature with boundless energy and fierce enthusiasm. I love to see it, even when it terrifies me.

You are just so grown up – and you are so very YOU. I love every bit of watching you grow up and become such a wonderful little guy. You amaze and impress me at every turn. I am constantly grinning to myself and shaking my head at how quickly you learn, and my heart melts every day to see the depth of feeling and empathy you have. What an amazing person you are already! You are so very beautiful, inside and out, my darling. Thank you for being my child. I am so grateful to get to be your Mom.

We are welcoming a new addition into our family soon, and although we’ve tried to prepare you, and explain to you the nature of the changes that are coming, I don’t know if we’ve done well. You can tell me where the baby is now, and you even say “Hi Baby!” sometimes. You like to read books that are about you and “your baby”. I know that he is going to be the luckiest little brother that there has ever been, since he will have you. I know how much you will love him, and I know that he will absolutely adore you. I hope that you get to experience the joy that I have found in my own brothers and sisters – they are some of my favorite people in the world. I am very excited to be able to grow the love that our family has that much more. You are going to be the best big brother EVER.

I am doing my best to be the best Mommy you can have. I feel that I’m learning and growing along with you – and I’m doing a pretty good job! But I still have learning to do and progress to make. I still wish that I could be perfect in every moment I spend with you, but I can’t. I am working on being a better Mommy for you – I will always give you the best that I have to give, but often you will deserve even more.

I love you, my little Benjamin, my darling child. I find something every day that surprises me or amazes me about you. I love you so very deeply. You make my life so full and rich and joyous. I could simply not be happier about my life than I am with you in it. I love you forever – for every single moment that I will ever have. I am so proud of you, and so grateful for you. You are doing a great job of being your wonderful self, and I am so excited to see what the future brings for us. I love you. Thank you for being my baby boy, even as you grow up.

Comments are closed.