Everly, I have tried to write this several times.
I don’t know what to say that feels like enough. I have watched your newborn videos the past couple of weeks and looked at the pictures from your 1st birthday:
I don’t know if I can possibly return what you’ve given me in these last 2 years. You have made me some other version of myself that I couldn’t daydream up on my own. Mothering you gave me a new life. You healed my broken parts. I wanted to be whole for you and the piece that was missing for years & years & years was finally put into it’s place and I was able to be my complete self.
When you came into this world, many parts of my soul came into it with you for the first time.
I love you today, on your 2nd birthday. I love you every day forever.
And your father? Your father is wrapped around your little finger and you know it. He absolutely adores you beyond any explanation and you’re two peas in a pod. I don’t want you to think that because I write these letters from my perspective that he’s not a huge part of your life. You’re best buds. He understands you sometimes when I can’t and explains to me why you’re doing certain things. He wouldn’t make it without you.
Wore out at your first trip to the zoo. You got sunscreen in your eyes just
like your daddy always does. You loved the “kitty cat meow meows” most.
Here are some things you’re up to these days:
You are beautiful. You say things like, “Bubby, ‘stairs?” when you want to go play in your room upstairs with your brother. You run with this cute little side to side butt wiggle and bounce. You HAVE to have your shoes if we’re going outside, it’s very important to you. You started a Mother’s Day Out program and you keep getting the report that you’re “quiet” and it tickles me. You eat 1,000 tiny meals, all spread throughout the day (mostly carbs). You have started climbing, something you were never interested in before.
You love playing on my phone (especially watching videos), watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while you eat your breakfast, getting a ride in the wagon, helping with Beckett, cold milk, singing (Twinkle Twinkle, Row Your Boat, Hot Dog Hot Dog), reading before bedtime, sorting clothes, diapering your baby dolls, wrestling with Beckett and Daddy, washing your hands and feet, brushing your own teeth, your family, and animals.
You dislike getting your hair fixed, spilled liquids, hairs, Bubby trying to eat your food, and being buckled into seats.
You can repeat just about any word now and you’ve started using short phrases together. You don’t talk a lot around other people unless you’re in the mood, you’re very reserved and prefer to join in when you feel like it. I like this about you. You don’t have to be a performer if you don’t want to be, something I sometimes felt pressured to do by different people throughout my life.
You are a great kid, Everly. You listen to directions well, you sleep well, you are nice to others. You have such a gentle heart toward animals. You are careful with your brother most of the time and when you do get frustrated or feisty and push him, you are quick to apologize after a visit to time-out. You love your family and light up when they visit. You are fond of my friends and they have been patient with you so you’re finally opening up to them. You don’t have any real fears other than the random hair thing. You sweat a ton and your hair is always stringy no matter how much I brush it. You wear lots of hand-me-downs and sometimes you’re mismatched and I love it. You’ll probably have a better fashion sense than I do and be thankful when I don’t get to dress you any longer. You can play by yourself for long periods and enjoy doing so. You are independent. I joke that your hair looks like Carol Brady. You probably won’t have any idea who that is by the time you read this. Google it… or zap it into the air via your wizard phone. Whichever is the “thing” nowadays.
You love making your brother laugh.
Last year on your birthday I wrote this:
“It’s not so much that you’re old or completely independent or anything.It’s that one year can be so incredibly stunning and life altering and that it seemingly happened within seconds of you being born. It’s that this one year compared to all the years of my life has been the best year, the most fulfilling the year, the funniest year, the most stressful year, the happiest year, and the most rewarding.”
I can tell you that’s true this time around, too.
Last night as I was rocking you to sleep and reading your books, I asked you to pick one last one for me to read. You looked through them for a minute and thought about it before picking a book called God Gave Us You. It’s a sweet book but not one you usually choose because it’s a little more lengthy than you tend to like. But you sat very still while I read to you and I teared up while I worked my way through the pages.
The story is about a little polar bear that wants to know where she came from. She asks her mama lots of questions and her mama gently answers her about the pregnancy, the ultrasound when they first heard her heartbeat, the first time she felt her move, and the daddy talking and singing to the little polar bear while she swam inside the mama’s tummy.
I thought about all those special moments with you as I said the words out loud, pausing to kiss your hair.
At the end of the story, the little polar bear is getting sleepy:
“So then I was borned?” Little Cub asked.
“Yes!” Mama giggled. “And my, how you screamed and yelled. As much as we loved meeting you for the first time, you missed being in my warm and cozy tummy.”
Mama lowered her voice.
“And then we took you home. And it was just us. Our family. We just stared and stared, wondering at the miracle of incredible you.”
Happy Birthday, sweet girl.