Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday to You: 18 Months Old

Dear Anabella,

This week you turned 18 months old. Just so we're clear, that's one year and one half of a year. Holy effing eff. Some amazing things have happened this month and I want to take time to write them all down for you, but it's late and tomorrow we're leaving on our family summer vacation. I've been sitting here for a while, contemplating what things I should select to jot down about this month and all I can come up with is HOLY EFFING EFF. I am the mother of a toddler.

A toddler who just today graduated from the infant room at daycare, complete with a graduation cap and little celebration party with all your baby friends and your lovely caregivers. A toddler who can say her own name and who knows all the pieces to her puzzles and can name all the characters on her diapers. A toddler who still loves to sing and dance, has made up her very own word for butterfly (Laalow!) and who, when tired and ready for bed, will look at me with her big sleepy eyes and say, "Bed, Mama."

A toddler who has grown to love her dog so much that first thing in the morning, when I lift you out of your crib and we share our morning hug and kiss will point towards the stairs and say, "Momo!" And I know that you can't wait to get downstairs and share your Cheerios with him.

But most importantly this month you became a toddler who can toddle! You are still not very steady and you hesitate to take more than a few steps at a time and always towards someone, never away from them. But you know what? I'm so proud of you. There is simply nothing in the universe that gives me more pleasure than watching you stand up all on your own, reach out your chubby and still babyish little arms and walk towards me all on your own. I know that so soon, well before I could ever be ready, you will be walking away from me. And of course, I want you to go forward with confidence, grace, curiosity and strength. But today I will relish in those teetering, toddling steps into my outstretched arms.

I love you,


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