Moments old, forever loved.
I could say you came out kicking and screaming, and all red and a hollerin', but you didn't. You came out the way you exactly are now.
Calm, wide-eyed, beautiful, sweet.
You didn't cry, you just sneezed in the doctor's face and then met your parents for the first time.
And we fell in love, hard.
As a one-year-old, I thought the growth you sustained in 12 months was phenomenal. It was amazing to have a front-row seat to your first year. You went from an eight-pound infant to a 22-pound girl. You learned how to roll, sit, crawl, walk, run. How to sip from a cup, go underwater, say words. I didn't think you'd have another year like that.
And then, you turned two.
And I am still having a hard time putting your year of growth into words. From a physical standpoint, you grew longer and lankier, adding only five pounds to your frame, and five inches to your body. Your hair grew into ponytail length, and your feet are in a seven. But none of that compares to how your heart, mind, and soul grew in 12 months. How you learned how to complete my sentences; point out airplanes far away, identify specific baby cries, and cry during the sad parts of Up. How you sense when I've had a bad day, and just need a quiet hug. How you insist on kissing the dog at bedtime. Talking to Grandma on the phone. Crying when we get to the pediatrician's office because you know you're getting shots.
How you exclaimed, no way! each time you opened your birthday gifts.
How much fun you have every minute of everyday.
It's in how you point to my coffee cup and say, coffee, hot.
It's grabbing my face with both hands and putting your nose to mine.
It's sharing your soggy Goldfish crackers.
In how you ask for licorice for your friend.
It's in how you made Daddy and I love each other more, differently.
How you smell when you wake up in the morning.
And your big, big hazel eyes.
It's in everything you do, and everything you are.
It's who you are.
And how you love.
Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet baby girl.
To my darling daughter.
I love you to the moon.