Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today is my eldest's second birthday. Matilda Hazel Darling turns two! I can't believe it. No need to relive the anxiety her birth brought me (though, I don't think 10pm on Halloween night will ever pass by again without me thinking "that's when my water broke!" Ah, memories.) No, this year I had an entirely new year to think about - her first year - and ponder, and be grateful for. A whole other year has passed by in her life - I just can't believe it.
I wasn't sad today though. I got a little sad last night, thinking how she would be 2 today - total toddler status and absolutely not a baby anymore. It is strange. You have a baby and everyone starts asking you "how old is she?" everywhere you go. How old is she? How old is she? You answer in days, then weeks, then months...and the months thing really goes on for a while. Especially depending on if you are answering a fellow parent or not. Thirteen months is entirely different than "just over a year" to a fellow parent. Seventeen months doesn't require any math. And twenty-three months is not "2". No.
But, two is 2. And now my darling is 2! She won't ever be "25 months" or more - nobody does that, right? Just 2. Then 3. Then (for heaven sake, someone stop this time machine!) 4? Goodness me.
(Wouldn't it be funny, by the way, if people just always kept asking how old someone was? Like, just whoever you were with. It doesn't matter. Imagine being in Target and someone overhears you talking with your mom and then stops and says "Aw, how old is she?" and you're like "Um, she's 59 - almost 60." and they nod sympathetically at you and maybe wink with a "Hang in there, it gets easier" as they stroll off to look at the dollar aisle. Yeah. It's probably good we stop they whole "How old is s/he" bit before cognitive reasoning really sets in.)
Since Matilda's first birthday, she's grown more hair, surpassed at least a few sizes in Target clearance wear, mastered the fork and spoon (with her left hand, no less), learned nearly every animal sound (including, my favorite, "Haha" for Hippo) and many other words (whether indiscernible or perfectly clear, said with the same amount of sincere gusto) and most of all, built layer after layer of personality, shaping her into the kid she is today.
It struck me today, as I was getting all nostalgic watching her play, that I'm not really sad to watch her grow. When she was just a baby it would bring tears to my eyes to even think about her someday not fitting into that snap-up-onesie I just bought that says "I love mommy" or "Daddy's girl". (Don't get me wrong, I can still conjure up a hefty tear at the drop of a hat). But, watching her personality grow, take shape, expand in directions I've never known her before - I get to see this little person literally become. Who would want to rewind that? As much as I loved having her as a baby, I am almost entirely equally torn into wanting to see her continue her personality-growing-saga!
This is the ache of a mother's heart. I want her to stay small. I want her to become amazing. I want her to snuggle forever. I want her take flight and soar. I want her to be safe in my arms. I want her to slay dragons and conquer darkness. I want it all for her. I want her to want it all.
I love you, Matilda. Happy Birthday, Darling.

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