Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Letter to My Littler Daughter: Year TWO (18 months home)

Dear Faith,

Today you are two and that means you have been a part of our family for 18 months.  Truly, you have been a part of our family since we first learned you existed - we loved you from that very moment.  From that moment, you were ours in our hearts even though we had to wait three long months to bring you home.

Your birthday this year feels completely different than it did last year.  Last year, you had been home just 6 months and I was still trying to figure out how to be your mom while sorting out the role your First Mama should play in your life.  I think I will forever be sorting that out, which is not a bad thing.
At the dumpling party this summer - it is saying something that this is the least blurry picture I took of them that day.
But this year, I am confident in my mothering of you.  I know you and you know me.  I trust my instincts about your needs and you are a uniquely happy and contented baby.

Except you are no longer a baby.  It was just a few months ago that I remarked to Daddy that you finally felt like a toddler and less like a baby.  You can do so much now - feed yourself, maneuver your body in pretty much any way you desire (you figured out how to climb on top of the coffee table - a new skill that you are thrilled with and I am wishing you hadn't acquired!), and communicate your basic desires (mostly through signs and yelling) - all of which have brought you a freedom and independence that you relish.
Toddler!
Just like with your sister each year, I am in awe of how much you have grown and changed in the last 12 months.  However, my awe is different somehow.  With Lila, my awe is rooted in how quickly time passes, how much she develops in such a short amount of time.  I am amazed at the ease with which she acquires new skills - she seems to wake up each day with a new ability logged into her brain.  But with you, I find I'm amazed at your perseverance, your tenacity, your spunk and pluck.  Your development is slow and delayed, but I am no less in awe of it for completely opposite reasons. Where Lila seems to just pick up new skills left and right, your skills come slowly, deliberately and we get to see the process evolve.  It is fascinating and inspiring.

At two years old, most people would only see your lack of development and take note of all the milestones you have not yet reached.  You aren't walking yet - although you stand up for several seconds and have taken three steps, you have limited words and most of them are signed, and you are eons away from being potty trained.  But I have watched you fight for those skills with moxie and courage.  I have been struck by your resolve (a character trait you surely inherited from First Mama and one that I greatly admire) and determination to achieve your goals and get where you are going. You WILL climb those stairs, even in the face of great obstacles like your low muscle tone or your frustrating mommy who, despite dramatic arms waving "all done!" does not seem to understand that you do NOT want her to interrupt your summit.  (Sorry about that, it's just that I have visions of your head becoming friendly with the marble floor at the bottom of the stairs!)

Your therapists often comment on how determined you are and how helpful a character trait that is when you will have a lot of things to overcome in your life.  It makes me grateful to your First Mama for passing that down to you, and grateful to God for already giving you what you need in the face of the challenges you will encounter.

You still prefer to scoot around on your bottom.  I call you Baby Roomba because you seem to like to scoot along the baseboards and walls of a room for some reason.  You have several signs (hi and bye, all done/no, more/yes, eat, drink, baby, ball, bubbles, go, a celebratory clap, me, dog, please, down, up, blow kisses) and know several more visually that you can't yet mimic.  I'm pretty sure you're intentionally holding out on me because you can say "ma-ma-ma" when you want more of something, but you refuse to say it for mommy.  When that word does finally come out of your mouth I will melt into a gooey puddle, I guarantee.

taken by Nanny - love that grin!
You adore your sister and she is wild about you.  You light up when she comes in the room, dive in to hug her and cry when we drop her off at preschool.  I am so grateful for the relationship that the two of you have!

You love to bounce, eat and play with other kids.  You adore babies and are surprisingly gentle with them.  Your favorite toys are balls and anything you can take out of something and put back in.  You have a magnetism to things that are not safe or age appropriate (electrical outlets, Sissy's markers, etc).

You were trying to put the stethoscope around Weston's neck - so helpful!
You give the absolute best hugs in the universe and you give them freely and frequently.  Your laugh makes me giddy, your humor charms me, and your love of life is an inspiration.  You are passionate about doing things by yourself and if we interfere, you will squirm and thrash and grunt and holler until we relent and allow you to go about your business.  The only time you really cry is when you get hurt, when we leave you with a sitter, and when we put you in bed before you're ready.  But you are always quick to recover.  Your adaptability amazes me.
adaptability: napping in Home Depot
I am delighted by you, little girl.  I simply cannot imagine our family without you.  You are a gift, your life is a story worth telling.  Every day, I am grateful that I get to be your mommy.
Love this girl!
I love you so very much.  Happy Birthday, Faith-baby.

Love,
Mommy

2 comments:

Holly said...

Faith!! Look at her face, what a sweet toddler girl :) she's such a gift to everyone lucky enough to know her!

Totschies said...

So fun to read about sweet Faith!