My be two

Rosie Mae,

Two weeks ago, I started a full time job. You may not know what that means at this point in your short life, but I am certain you know that I have not been around as much as I used to be. You cling to me when I come home in the evenings, never far from my side, a constant string of HOLE JOO?s coming out of your mouth until I distract you with books or ridiculous dancing or songs sung in a terribly-imitated foreign accent long enough that you forget your desperation and remember just to enjoy me. I, of course, enjoy you right back.

I see myself in you. Every day I recognize you more. There are times when I am frustrated beyond measure because I don’t know how to reign in your apoplectic fury when you unleash it on some unfortunate inanimate (or animate) object. Irritated, I wail, “What is her DEAL??” and then five minutes later as the sippy cup that I couldn’t open goes skittering across the kitchen tiles, propelled by the force of my rage at STUPID ASS CHILD LID ALWAYS STICKING WHY WON’T YOU OPEN FOR THE LOVE OF— I realize: oh.

You and me, kid. We share a couple of genes.

Here’s what I know will be a challenge for you. When you are a person who knows what she wants, you will almost never be described as “easy-going” or “laid-back.” Sometimes, this will bother you. Sometimes this will need to bother you, so that you will remember to consider others when barreling toward your own aims. It’s important to be kind, to be generous. But you don’t have to apologize for having an opinion, or for being yourself. Listen to me when I say: it’s okay to know what you want. It’s okay not to be “easy-going.”

(Except, of course, when it’s time to go to bed.)

But as for right now, my goodness, you’re two. No, you’re not just two, you’re TWO. Capital TEE DUBYA OH. And as glad as I was to celebrate your double years on this Earth last week, it was no match for the unbridled jubilation you carried around with yourself, and then released, like fireflies in a jar. “My be TWO!” you told your brother. Your friends. The mailman. Yourself, in a mirror.

You have been so much joy and so much work these last 24 months. You have filled up my life to the very brim until I have spilled over, exhausted, overjoyed, humbled, happy.

Please don’t grow up. Please grow up soon. Please stay exactly as you are, right this very minute.

But most of all, please don’t forget how you stood on the steps of our house on the day after your birthday and yelled into the yards of all the houses on our street, “I! CAN! DO IT! I! CAN! DO IT!” Because years from now when you’re grown and gone from my every day, this is how I want to remember you—as a girl standing on the threshold, bursting with the knowledge that she has something spectacular to share with the world.

Love, Mama

7 comments

1 Rachel D { 11.02.10 at 12:42 am }

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

2 Laura Lokers { 11.02.10 at 9:20 am }

LOVE this – great letter that she will love too one day. I had one of those “I!CAN!DO!IT!” moments with Abby last week. She was running up and down the sidewalk of the neighborhood yelling her ABCs and/or counting then bursting into applause of “Abby Yea!” at the end. I just looked at her and thought not a touch of social anxiety, insecurity or fear. Then I spent the rest of the time I was watching her trying to figure out how to put that feeling in a bottle. And trying to get something out that just happened to get stuck in my eye.

3 Mandy { 11.02.10 at 1:12 pm }

SOB! So beautiful and perfect, poignant and honest.

4 ginnymom { 11.02.10 at 2:17 pm }

Jubilation. Good word for this. She just looks it.

5 Stink { 11.03.10 at 12:23 pm }

BEAUTIFUL! You, her, this post, my friends in ATL!!

6 gmo { 11.03.10 at 2:47 pm }

Yes, it’s beautiful because it came from your heart and will mean so much to your daughter when she is older and when she is old.

7 annab { 11.09.10 at 10:41 pm }

this is a really beautifully written post.

really. beautiful.

bc: for the first 28ish years of my life, i was SURE i didnt want children. not bc i didnt like them, just bc i wasnt sure if that was my life path.

but then: i met my honey, who makes most things better, including me and my possibility of being a mama.

and also: i started reading your blog. seriously, rachel, everything that is hard and beautiful and sad and amazing is captured here and it makes me cry almost every time. it is a treat i reserve for myself– i wait so i can read more than one entry at a time, savoring the difficult and delightful deliciousness that is mommying.

thanks for that. for giving me the confidence and grace and nerve and humilty it takes to understand a teeny bit of the blessing of parenthood.

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