23 months might be my favorite age. It’s so much fun but you’re not two yet so you’re still technically a baby.
This time two years ago I had just learned that I was having a little girl. This time last year you had just learned to crawl. And now you are running across the floor, calling over your shoulder “Mama! Go! Go go go! Cookie!” as you anxiously anticipate a trip to the grocery store.
You have a whole language of your own and it’s just the sweetest. For some reason when you say “pumpkin” it sounds like “monkey” and I have no idea how your daddy and I understand you but we do. I often act as your translator as you excitedly tell random strangers what you’re thinking. “Preese! Preese!” you say as you point to the lady. “She thinks your necklace is pretty” I tell her, explaining that you are enchanted by all things sparkly. I’m a proud mama.
We are constantly surprised by you. A couple of weeks ago we discovered that you know all of the letters of the alphabet. We play with flashcards a bunch so I knew that you recognized some of them but I thought you had just memorized a few of the cards. Then daddy brought out some alphabet blocks and you carefully pointed out each letter and told us what it was. We looked over your head at one another. “Did you know she could do that?” “No! Did you?!” and then we marveled over how smart you are and how we think you are the most genius little girl.
And then we drug you around to visit all your grandparents so we could show off your awesome alphabet knowing skills.
You are so full of personality. You have strong opinions and you let us know about them. The other day you insisted on wearing your new rain boots, even though I kept telling you they were too big for you. But you insisted I put them on anyway and afterwards you threw your arms around my neck and said “Booos! Som Som!” and then took giant, stomping steps around the porch while laughing hysterically at yourself.
The playground sees you in your boots frequently. You run as fast as you can toward the first child that you see and then you pull yourself up short and turn your face up to them, smiling radiantly as you shout “Hi! HI HI HI!” And then you follow them around religiously until I have to carry you away from the big kid climbing part in tears, which we wash away on the swings while you yell “WHEEEE!” with your arms out to your sides like you’re flying. You are magical.
The other night I tucked you in for bed, brushed the hair out of your eyes, that long lock that we really need to trim but just can’t bring ourselves to do it yet, and kissed your forehead. “I love you” I said and you put your tiny hand up to my lips and replied “wub ooo.” It was your initial uttering of that sweet phrase and I lifted you back out of the bed and cuddled you in the rocking chair, letting you fall asleep in my arms.
And I cried for a bit, marveling at how a long list of my saddest tears that fell on discarded pregnancy tests flashing no and while twisting my mouth around the word “miscarriage” and on a hospital pillow as I gave birth too soon and my hands in an elevator as I left you in the NICU for another night have culminated in this. These, the happiest tears as the words “I love you” pass back and forth between us. These were worth all the sad tears and more, Scarlette.
I love you,