I have so many words, yet I’m having a hard time pulling them from my heart. You are two, and already a full person. No longer a cute baby but a real, live, actual person, one who commands respect and shows empathy and says sentences like “I’m helping Daddy clean the fishtank!”. There is so much of you, now. You are creative. You are so smart it blows my mind.* You are hilarious and beautiful and so so strong. You are snuggly and stubborn and I love you with every fiber of myself.
You can be so difficult. Sometimes you just don’t listen, even when I’m trying so hard to get through to you, even when I’m crouched down in front of you, quietly and calmly asking you to look at me so I can break through the wall of two-year-old angst. Sometimes I get so frustrated with you. Like when I’m trying to feed Lucy and you are screaming because you want to climb into my lap and she can’t concentrate and breaks her latch and gives me this look like, lady, I’m hungry – can’t you get the kid to give it a rest? Sometimes I want to shout, don’t you know you’re not the only person in this family? Once I even got so frustrated that I had to walk away from you, to take Lucy into our bedroom and close the door, even though you were crying for me. And it nearly broke me. I sat there with Lucy and I cried. Because I’m not patient enough. Because I need to try harder. Because you’re only two. Because you’re a full person, and I expect too much of you, and in this way I fail you. And you’re getting older, and I ache for the future and the failures that will be.
There are tendencies, now, that I pray will stick for all those future times when I fail you, when I hurt you, when I’m can’t be enough for you.
The way you run to me for comfort, even when I’m the one who’s made you mad.
The way you’ll reach out your hand when we’re walking side by side, trusting that I’ll be there to take it.
The way that when you’re sick, or scared, or sad, you need your Mama and no one else will do.
Sometimes when you can’t fall asleep at night you ask me to sing to you, and when I’m too tired to listen to you cry I will comply. You Are My Sunshine is our song but I think the third verse (Johnny Cash version, obviously) is too dark so I always change it.
I’ll always love you
And make you happy
As long as I am living
So close your eyes now
And go to sleep now
And I’ll be here when you wake.
At your naming ceremony I told you that if you were willing to work hard enough you could have anything in this life that you want. You’re two, and before I blink there will be a time when I can’t just kiss your sad away. I was a girl. I know how it can be. But Molly, if I can do right by you, if I try really, really hard – harder than I’ve ever tried at anything in my life – maybe I can help. Maybe I can be the mama that you need me to be – even when I’m tired, even when I’m annoyed or grouchy or frustrated. If I try hard enough, maybe I’ll get what I want the most – for you to always know that you can come to me for comfort, even when you’re mad at me. For you to trust me to support you, to be there for you, to stand by you even if I’m not physically by your side. For you to believe that when you’re sick, or scared, or sad, I will always try to comfort you, to hold your hand, to reassure you that you are the bravest, smartest, strongest, most special girl I’ve ever known.
You are two.
It’s all going by so quickly.
I’m trying so hard.
I have so much to learn.
I’m so grateful, and so humbled, to be your Mama.
Happy Birthday to my banana pancake, my little ladybug, my monkey, my Molly. I’ll always love you. I’ll always try to make you happy. I’ll always be here.
*Is it normal for two year olds to be able to complete puzzles? Or speak in full sentences (like, multiple clauses)? Or dress and undress themselves? Or do funny things on purpose?