Excuse me, dear eldest daughter, but when did you turn two? Who told you that you could turn TWO?
She’s an explosion. She smiles at everyone. She laughs with abandon. She’s a helper with unlimited potential. My daughter is the coolest thing I have ever seen. When she says mommy or daddy, it’s with a slight British accent. I die.
The year of one to two went so very quickly. We started out with this new house and this new place for her to get used to. She spent a lot of time at the park. There were a lot of doctors appointments – the RAD diagnosis meant we spent a lot of time with our little seal of a nebulizer. As long as Mickey is on (or maybe the monkey aka Curious George), she handles it well.
The year blew by because I was also pregnant and a new soul joined our family. I was worried about shaking up C3’s life – she didn’t ask for a sister, but a sister she got. Watching my daughter grow into a big sister, knowing that she will be the leader of a hopefully large brood, I just melt. She’s got this. She’s protective and loving, but not afraid to make jokes about the baby either.
Her language has grown and grown. I see her putting together sentences, demanding things and then following up her request with a precious “please.” I really need to learn to relax and let her unfold exactly the way she’s made. She’s very intuitive, my eldest daughter. She watches and can tell when someone’s sad. She’ll climb up on your lap and give you a hug – while demanding one in return. On the night of my surgery, she apparently woke up repeatedly calling for me. Whenever I doubt that we’re connected, that we’re bonded… This daughter of mine is in my heart.
At night or whenever the ball of energy with curly hair stops, I hold her head in my hands and look into her eyes. I tell her I love her, that she is smart, that she is beautiful, that she is capable. I want these facts to cement into her soul. I want her to know she is gorgeous, that she is bright and able to do anything. She has begun to return the favor – grabbing my chin to tell me she loves me. I love this child more than I ever imagined. I have read and reread a book – Surprised by Motherhood. Read it. I cannot explain how it fills me up with hope and strength and goodwill. The author is lovely – I wrote to her while I was in the hospital. I read the book before the accident, and I was so filled with strength by her that it helped me get through the early days of the trauma. She wrote me back and was just so darn lovely. Anyway, there’s a line that 18 years is not enough time to get to know her mother, but it is enough time to know a daughter.
I have no idea who this girl will be yet. She will be fierce and temperamental, she will be caring, she will be imaginative. She is all of those things now. I am so grateful for the chance to get to know her. To be one of the ones shaping her, guiding her, loving her. I am in love with my girl with the runny nose, with the skinned knee, with the vocabulary that will not stop, with the bow on top of bouncing curls. I cannot wait to see what this year brings.