Today I was folding and sorting some of Lawton's laundry, pulling out the newborn onesies and sleepers that are now too small. As I placed them in their own little pile to be relegated to the attic I had to stop and catch my breath for a moment thinking of you, my big, beautiful, smart and sassy little girl, fitting into those same newborn onesies only two years ago. Only two years and yet... two whole years! I think only a parent can understand how a length of time can seem so long and so distant and yet have flown by. I remember so clearly the doctor's appointment when I learned you existed, then standing on the balcony of our tiny one bedroom apartment going through my contact list to let everyone know I was PREGNANT (oh the joy and the terror and the triumph and the anticipation and the anxiety and the excitement wrapped into those eight letters). And then 39 long/short weeks later, laboring for so long in the hospital and finding out you were a girl (!!!). I remember bringing you home (to a TWO bedroom apartment), watching you grow, filled with anxiety and wonder and pride, moving you into our first home as a family, seeing you learn to crawl, start to speak, take your first steps...and all of this was just in one year. And now you're two.
In your second year I found out I was pregnant again in January and had your brother on September 1st (it's been quite a year for both of us, sweetpea). You went from being my only child to being my first. And you became a big sister. If I was proud of you before, I don't know the word to describe the swell of emotions I feel as I watch you with your brother. Whenever people hear how close in age you two are they always ask me how you're doing... if you're gentle with the baby, if you're a good helper, how you've handled the changes. My response is always the same: you're a rock star.
Being a big sister is not the only thing at which you are excelling (and blowing Mommy's mind with). Holy smokes, girl, are you SMART. Your vocabulary has skyrocketed and your diction is truly impressive. Even your pediatrician looked at me across the exam table with raised eyebrows when you started talking to him. You speak in full sentences, connecting thoughts in way that sometimes surprises me. (When I got pulled over on our way home from Augusta - NOT for speeding... apparently I didn't slow down enough when passing a police car - you were entranced by the police officer ("the man" as you referred to him) and asked if he was "like Robert", a police horse in a book we hadn't read in weeks.) You're funny, precocious, flirty (btw, you may want to back off of Travis a little... aunt Chelsea might be getting a little jealous), stubborn, and sweet. You love to sing and have really remarkable pitch for a 2 year old. You take that "dance like no one is watching" quote very literally. You devour books like candy (which you will also devour... like... itself) and have many of your favorites memorized. You still sleep like an angel and eat like a champ. You are learning so much so fast about being kind and sharing and taking turns... not that you always do it, because you are a willful and spunky little goober sometimes and certainly know how to have a fit with the best of them. But basically what I'm getting at here is that I could not have asked for a more remarkable child.
Darling daughter, I just plain adore you. You are beautiful to me and I can assure you that you always will be. I am so happy to have added your brother to our family, doubling our number of children but exponentially increasing our joy, but you will always be my special girl, the one that shares my middle name, my first baby. You light up my life, warm my heart, and fill my soul. I am so grateful to be your mother.
I love you very much.