Sunday, November 19, 2006

Two Years and Two Days

Dear Harper,

Two has hit us in a big way. You turned two on Friday and, even though I saw it coming, even though I could no more walk away without my head than forget your birthday, I feel like it came out of the blue and ran me right over. You are two. As in two years old. As in 24 months. As in 99.9 % of my being wants the world to stop right now because you are growing so fast I can't catch my breath and I can't hold on and I can't even get it on camera because you move, all of it moves, at the speed of light. My heart is screaming, "Please stop!"

But don't.

Because I'm going to listen to the .1% of my being (which is sometimes the only reasonable part) that whispers to me how it's only going to get better. I'm going to listen to the .1% that tells me, as much fun as you are now, I still have no idea who you are going to become and wouldn't it be a shame if I never got to know?

What if you had stopped last year? I think now about what you were like and I barely even know that you anymore. Last year you couldn't talk, you could barely walk, and you ate mostly strained mystery food in jars that no sane person would even remotely consider edible. And this year? This year I'm fairly certain you could conquer the world with $5 and a passport, because you are one amazing child. An amazing child I couldn't even have imagined 12 months ago.

I'm learning what Two looks like on you, and I have to say, it isn't always pretty. And parenting Two doesn't always look so great on me either. Since you've discovered the power of speech you have delighted in voicing your opinion, which differs from mine at least 50% of the time. Lately you are not so into eating, unless we're feeding you cookies. We hardly ever feed you cookies; a situation you are less than pleased with. You have also employed a wondrous array of sleep avoidance techniques (especially since we put all your pacifiers away) including, but not limited to; throwing every movable object out of your crib and then screaming to get them back, asking to go potty, crying about the injustice of your crib and then begging for a tissue, taking all your clothes off and calling for help, and pooping immediately after we put you to bed. And those are just the techniques you try after we've put you in the crib. You also dislike having your fingernails clipped. Me, I'm just attempting to carry out the basic functions of parenting: feeding you, making sure you get exercise, play, and sleep, and keeping you relatively clean and groomed.

It shouldn't be so difficult.

There are times when being Mommy brings out the absolute worst in me. Times when I'm so frustrated that I feel like I need to stand up on a tall object and shout in the loudest voice I can manage so you will just listen to me. I don't do this. In fact, I'm quite certain it would do no good. I'd start to yell and you wouldn't hear me because you'd be looking for your own object to climb on and yell from.

And you know what?

Part of me would be proud of you because I know that you are already a strong woman. You know what you want. You aren't afraid to stand up for yourself. You have a brilliant spirit and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not even for easy.

The good news is that Two also brings out the best in us. I love seeing what a terrific little person you are and all the things you're learning to do. Just the other day you named the colors of all the fish on the bathroom shower curtain. You know colors, just like that! Which means all the playing and talking and reading we do are paying off. You are learning all kinds of things and I think it's as much a joy for me as it is for you. You count and play hide and seek, you draw, you play pretend in more ways than I would have thought possible, you take care of your animals and you even try to take care of me if you think something is wrong.

You show compassion, you are intelligent, you delight in the world around you, and you have a terrific sense of humor. And, while this is not nearly the most important thing about you, you are absolutely beautiful. I watch you move through your day and you take my breath away. Everything about you amazes me. Over and over again.

So . . . Bring it on Two! We will have bad moments but I know we can conquer Two, you and I (and Daddy!). And this time next year, God willing, I'll be looking back again, marveling at what you've accomplished and wondering where the time went. I love you sweet girl.



Erin said...


Anonymous said...

This was absolutely beautiful and will be a special reading for Harper in the years to come. She is so very lucky to have you as such a loving mom

Anonymous said...


That was beautiful (just like you are) Mom and I still feel the same way about you after 30 years!!



Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday 2nd birthday Harper !

Kelsey - it's incredible how you're able to pour your heart and soul into words to share with your beautiful girl on such a happy occasion. What tender keepsakes for her to cherish forever !

- Laura