Letter To My Little Lady: You Are Two

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You, at two.

Dear Little Fish,

People talk up the terrible twos, but I don’t really see it. Yeah, you’re a wild woman and you have tantrums on the sidewalk and today I’m pretty sure you hit your dad in the face on purpose. But I’m still loving this age of yours. Lately you’ve developed a little devil smile where you scrunch your eyes and show all your ten teeth. That basically erases my mind every time I see it. Tantrums? What tantrums?

You talk in 3-4 word sentences now, and you talk a lot. If you’re awake, you’re jabbering. You say funny things like, “neck-a to me,” instead of “next to me.” You’re also learning empathy and emotions. When I was upset the other day, you put your face up close to mine and said, “You sad, Mama?” Then you offered me your blankie. Which I accepted, obviously.

You can count to thirteen and sing your ABCs. You’re just beginning to play pretend. Last night you told me that you were a tiger. According to you, tigers caw like birds and walk like drunk little girls.

Holding hands is your thing right now. Having your picture taken is not. You’ll dutifully say “cheeeese,” but then glare at the ground in protest. When you get really excited, you raise your hands above your head with your elbows bent and shake your arms. With your curly hair all askew and your arms going like crazy, it looks like you are calling thunder down from the sky or demanding answers from the universe.

After I put you in your crib each night I say the same words I’ve said to you every night since you were born: “Good night, sweet girl. I love you to the sky and back.” Sometimes, after I close the door to your room and leave you babbling to yourself, I’ll stand in the hall for a minute, grinning like an idiot. How on earth, I’ll think, is it possible that this goofball is actually mine?

A few weeks ago my friend Shannon sent me two boxes of inspirational quotes. Each quote is printed on a tiny card. Naturally, you’ve decided that these boxes are yours. You love to rearrange the cards. You also like scattering them on the floor like confetti and hiding them about the house. I don’t mind–it’s fun to discover random sentiments in the hallway or underneath my nightstand, almost as if you left them there just for me.

Tonight I found one on my bedroom floor. The quote inside said, “Thou hast seen nothing yet.”

No, my spirited Little Fish, I don’t believe I have.

Love,
Mom

Letter to My Little Lady: I Am Always Here

You, at 12 weeks.

Dear Little Fish,

This week you started daycare and I went back to work. You appear to be ok with this arrangement. Your teachers tell me you’re eating and sleeping just fine, and that you smile when they talk to you.

I, on the other hand, am not so great. It seems unnatural to leave you each morning. It feels wrong to pick you up in the evenings and not know what made you smile, cry or coo that day.

I miss you in a big, achy kind of way. I wonder if you’re getting enough love and if you feel safe. I hope you’re too young to miss me back, but I have no idea. The mind of a baby is a wildly mysterious place.

Here’s a little secret, though: I am never really gone. Imagine a long silver thread—light as air, yet strong as steel—that connects me to you. It doesn’t matter if you go to daycare, summer camp, college or the bottom of the sea. We will never be more than a heartbeat apart.

Love,
Mom

Original Nursery Art

One of the things I love about my job is that I get to work with some sickly talented people, like the illustrator Danielle Kroll. I’m sad to say that she is leaving the company soon to set off on her own, but luckily I have something to remember her by. A couple of months ago, I commissioned her to paint something for the Fish’s room and today she brought in the finished product. So without further ado, here it is. Thank you, Danielle!

I can’t wait to frame and hang this bad boy.

Letter to My Little Lady: Let Me Break It Down

Dear Little Fish,

There are two things I want you to know. Right now you are all warm and safe, but after you arrive there may be times when life isn’t as awesome as you’d like it to be. So if you’re ever scared or sad or lonely, please remember this:

1. You were wanted, long before you were ever born.

2. You are loved beyond measure.

Throughout your life you will grow and change in ways I can’t even imagine. But these two truths will never change.

They are forever.