Happy, Happy 2nd birthday, my love.
My smart, funny, beautiful, miraculous girl.
We celebrated you this weekend with a rainbow party.
Your uncle Dirk came into town to meet Ace and to celebrate you.
It was epic.
As I tucked you in last night, you were all words. You are all words these days. You speak of yourself often in the third person. You spoke to me of your birthday- Happy Birthday, Beatrice- you said to me nodding as if you were reminding me. 🙂
I read you a book that your cousin Cathy (she is so good) sent you for your birthday–The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. As I read the first few pages, I immediately started to choke up:
“When I look at you
and you look at me,
I wonder what wonderful
Things you will be.
When you were too small
To tell me hello,
I knew you were someone
I wanted to know.
For all of your tininess
A heart so enormous . . .
And wild . . .
and wise. ”
As I tucked you in, you asked to sleep in your Birthday crown. As usual you wanted fishy (what you named your stuffed snowman), your puppy, your two stuffed mouses, and two special waters with you to sleep.
Now when I say Night-Night, Beatrice, you don’t reply “Night-Night, Beatrice,” you say, “Night-Night, Mama.” You’re more than parroting back at us. You’re beginning to grasp the meaning behind the words.
Tonight, you wanted no music (the instrumental lullabies you fall asleep to most nights) and the door left open. Most nights are like this these days. We have dinner, bath, and put on pjs. We brush teeth, floss (you love to brush and floss yourself- Beatrice brush. Beatrice floss. Beatrice turn). We put vaseline on your chin to prevent your chin from breaking out, and we give you your nose medicine. We read you a book, give you a night-night hug, turn out the lights, turn on the music, and say good night. You sleep 11-12 hours most nights. Sometimes I can’t help but go in to check on you if I’m up nursing your brother in the middle of the night. I place my hand on your back and feel it rise and fall. I run my fingers through your hair before slipping back to bed.
This past year has been the happiest year of my life. As I’ve watched you grow and change, my love for you just continues to grow and evolve with you.
I love you so much that sometimes I catch myself stop breathing as I take you in.
You are fearless. You’re loud and chatty. You’re emotional and passionate and fierce. You love cuddling and learning and adventures. You’ve got a smile that lights up any room, and eyes that sparkle their own special spark.
When you’re angry, your rage undulates off you in big waves. When you’re sad you cry big thick tear drops, and you’re the first to say Beatrice sad or Beatrice scared.
You love dancing, all music, facetiming with your Gigi and Grandpaaaaa, and stickers. You love the slides at the playground and walking on your own.
You like skirts, bracelets, hats, and shoes. You love sparkles. all of them. You seem to be a girly-girl through and through despite our best efforts to keep your toys and clothes widely varied on the gender spectrum.
You weigh 25 pounds, and you’re 25 inches tall.
You are constantly teaching me big and little things about myself and the world with your sweet, clear honesty.
You are brave, my big girl. “Beatrice- a big guhl,” You say. “Beatrice brave.”
You had blood drawn last week at your annual check up. Beforehand I told you that you were going to get some blood drawn, that it would hurt, but that it would only last a short while. “Be brave,” I said. “You’re a big girl.”
When you sat in my lap and put your hand up, you were alert, calm, and staring intently at the two nurses. When the needle went in, you took a big breath in, held it a moment, and then a long exhale. You didn’t cry. Even though the drew several vials of blood. The nurses looked at you in awe. They gave you like ten stickers and remarked on what a good, smart, calm girl you were.
“For all of your tininess
A heart so enormous . . .
And wild . . .
and wise. “
I’m so proud of who you are. all the time. When you help mama and papa. or you learn a new phrase or word. when you try something new. when you’re so dazzled and excited by some new adventure. When you’re scared or sad and not afraid to say it. I’m so proud of you it feels almost shameful. You’re miraculous, my beanshine.
You carry our hearts.
You are so very, very, very loved, always,