This week I found myself looking at photos of you from the day you were born. It's partly because I'm gearing up to meet your sister and partly because I can't get over the fact that you were once that tiny. "HOW DID WE GET HERE?" my brain shouts as my eyes well up with tears.
Oh yeah, one step at a time.
And here is so good. You are growing into a smart, capable, cuddly, chatty, funny and beautiful little girl. Right now you're into strumming the guitar (while singing "happy birthday"), eating full batches of macaroni and cheese, building towers, swaddling your stuffed animals and taking showers. (Yes, showers.) You think Elmo is hilarious. You think mama trying to take photos with the timer is hilarious. You think opening and closing the garage door is hilarious.
But what's really hilarious is that somehow, with you, all of these things really are funny. I am laughing and learning along with you, baby girl and it's a joy.
Two is by far the best year. I love how quickly you're grasping new concepts and expanding your vocabulary. I love that we can carry on real conversations. I love that you learned how to say "I love you." I love that you have opinions about what you want to wear and where you want to go. This age, it seems, keeps getting better and better and I'm trying my best to remember it for what it is.
Next week you move to a new daycare that is a bit more "pre-school" focused. We are all so excited for this change. When you started daycare, you were just 15 months old, in a room with 2.5 year olds! Now you're one of the big kids and are so ready for the next step. We took a tour this month and you were so excited to play with the "new friends" and "new kids." I can only imagine what you'll pick up next and can't wait to hear about your days at school. My heart expands and cracks just thinking about it.
In just over a month, we'll welcome another girl into our family. Your baby sister, who we've been talking about for so long, will finally join us. I am anxious, excited, terrified and elated for this transition. It's hard for me to imagine being a mom to anyone but you. It's hard for me to imagine sharing my heart with anyone but you. It's hard for me to imagine splitting my time with anyone but you.
I know that you will not remember this. You will not remember these years when it was just Mama, Papa and Ellerie. You will not remember the dinners when we sat with just three at the table. You will not remember the evenings we spent on the floor of your room, focused on just you. You will not remember the monumental shift our family went through when we grew to welcome another person.
In the future, your growing up memories will all be tied to your sister. When you think of your family, you'll think of a family of four.
And soon, I will too. We'll be four and we'll weather the changes and the growing pains. Our hearts and arms and table will expand and we'll be complete. But I do hope I remember these days. I hope I remember these magic years that made me a Mama. I hope that somehow, Ellerie, you know how grateful I am for you. How much I appreciate your patience with me these past 2.25 years. I still have so much to learn as a parent, but you helped me get started. Your baby sister is lucky to have you for so many reasons, but most of all, she's lucky you paved the way.
You are so very special, sweet girl.
I'll love you forever,