I’ve seen you so often, but every day I catch myself marveling at the sight of you. You are part-boy, part-pony. Every morning you burst out of the room, spring-loaded with the energy of a horse emerging from a corral.
I remember two years ago at the hospital, holding you during one of our first days together. We didn’t know each other then. Not really. I stared at you that day, and I wondered who you were – who you would become.
Well, every day you reveal a little more, and I am delighted with each discovery.
You are curious. You want to know every color, every feeling, every animal. You try to read all the books, and sometimes you surround yourself with big stacks of cookbooks and Baby Lit books and travel guides and picture books, and you want to devour them all. It makes me so happy.
You are hilarious. You play jokes, like surprising me by hopping out from behind a door or forcing me to sniff your stinky feet. If I don’t laugh, you laugh anyway and insist, “Funny.” You always ask for a sip of my coffee, wait a beat, then collapse in giggles. That joke slays you.
You have an endless capacity for singing “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.” When I sing about the wheels on the bus, you joyfully chime in with “All through the town!”
Your mind is a sponge right now, and I am charmed by the incorrect words you’ve acquired for everyday objects. Telephones are hellos, a bridge is an uppy-downy, and mountains are “the big.”
You scale the furniture and leap up the stairs and somersault across the floor and hop hop hop all over the place and run circles around the dinner table. We gave up baby gates months ago, because it’s useless to try to contain you. When we go outside, you shoot me a sideways look and say, “I run?” – then you’re off, sprinting down the road. I’m exhausted and awed by it in equal measure. I love your energy for life and your sheer physicality, and I hope I can keep up with you in the years to come.
You have no fear, so I hold it all for the both of us.
You love airplanes and elephants, monkeys and watermelon. You are on a desperate mission to hug all cats. And I can say from personal experience, your hugs are the greatest. My favorite thing is when you hold my face to carefully kiss my forehead, my nose, my chin, and both cheeks.
Most of all, you are kind. I’m overwhelmed by your generosity, patience, and compassion. You are gentle with animals. You wait your turn with toys. When you’re playing with a ball and another kid swipes it, you shrug and move on to something else. If you have two crackers, you always try to feed me first. You talk to everyone, including the homeless people at the library – especially the homeless people at the library – and it does my heart good to see all the smiles you leave in your wake.
You are just two, but you have already made my life richer, fuller, better. I still don’t know exactly who you’ll be yet, only that I’m so happy you’re mine.