On your second birthday

On your second birthday

Dear Joshua:

Wow…today you are two years old! That just seems so incredible to me. How can you be two when you are still my little tiny baby buddy?

But as much as I don’t want to acknowledge how old you are, I have also had so much fun getting to know you over the last two years. This last year in particular has been amazing, because your little personality started to shine through. I have began to understand you better and better, and it has just been so exciting and interesting. Last year I told you about all the things you have taught me, but this year I want to tell you about all the things I have learned about you.

One of my favorite things about you is how deliberate you are. You are never impulsive, you never do anything without a plan. You are so much like your dad in that way. He is patient and pays great attention to detail, and I can see those traits developing in you more and more. Well, maybe not patience, but you’re two…give it time. You are pretty patient with your little sister, though. She pokes you and grabs you and even though you don’t like it, you let her do it. She is lucky to have you as her brother. You are so careful and so intentional – I love to watch you play, especially when you don’t know that I’m there. I love that you don’t just play with a toy; you have to inspect every square inch of it first, figuring out what makes it work and trying to see if you can make it work better. You leave no area unexplored and no cabinet unopened. I hope you always have the desire to explore and discover.

Another thing I love about you is your little voice. You have really started talking a ton this year, and you have so many fun words and phrases now. Every time you say hi, or bye, or VROOOOOOM, it fills me with so much joy. When you were born I wondered if I would ever get to hear you talk, and now you talk non-stop. You try so hard to copy all the words and sounds around you. I bet you have learned a new word every few days for the last couple of months. I am excited to hear what new and crazy things you will come up with over the next year.

Perhaps your most dominant trait is stubbornness. I’ve been told you get this from your mother, but that is clearly a lie, since I am the picture of adaptation and flexibility. You do what you want, when you want, the way you want it. You will not be rushed or delayed. This is a quality that all toddlers possess, but I think you have a little extra stubbornness in you. It is what got you through your darkest days in the NICU, and it’s what motivates you to keep learning now. Sometimes your ability to dig your heels in can drive me batty, but at the same time I really admire your tenacity. You work so hard and even though you might not do something when I want you to, or when your doctor wants you to, you will do it and you will excel at it. And heaven help the person who tries to stop you then :)

Over the last few months, you have also began to show me how much you love to laugh and play. We race cars, throw the basketball, and wrestle all day long, and the smile on your face is one of the happiest things I have ever seen. You are always looking for a new way to play and have fun, and the smallest things make your face light up. The other day you found a Panera menu, and you would have thought you’d won the lottery. I love that about you. I love that you find joy in the simplest things and you love it with all your heart. Don’t lose that quality; it will serve you well in your lifetime.

Joshua, I just love you so much. I know I am impatient, and crazy, and probably not the most organized person in the world, but there is no one out there who loves you more than me. You have brought me so much joy and I would not be the person I am without you. You made me a mother. And you took a long and hard road to get here, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You would not be you without all these trials and journeys, and I would not trade you for anything in the world.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love you.

~Mommy (or, in your words…Daddy)

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