Our little girl turns two tomorrow. That feels nearly impossible to say but that awful calendar tells me it’s true. Isn’t it strange how pregnancy seems to last forever but once they’re living outside your body, everything is suddenly in fast-forward? When she was a few weeks old, I was camped out on the couch in some pathetic-looking yoga pants (this is post-partum dress code, I’m a rule follower, people) nursing my little cub when I suddenly thought, “One day, she will be two.” I smiled a little thinking about what she would look like, who she might be, but I dismissed the thought as quickly as it came because having a two year old seems like an impossible idea when you’re holding an itsy bitsy baby.
I couldn’t decide what to tell you today - if it would be about how very weird she is, removing all the cereal from her milk to the table, drinking the milk from the bowl, then putting the cereal back into the bowl to eat it. Or about her obsession with birds and really, anything in the sky, and how she will stay outside for hours and hours no matter the weather. I could tell you how parenting really turns you inside out, how it will most certainly teach you to be selfless and to run on zero sleep and how to worry yourself sick over things that will probably never happen.
I asked my Mom yesterday what is it that they say about the second year? In like a lion and out like a lamb? That must be it because my sweet little butterfly has morphed into a bossy, hilarious, insistent, strong-willed, curious, affectionate and busy bee. It’s a new level of parenting I am clueless to tackle. A baby? I know how to parent a baby. They nurse, they cry, they sleep, you read some books and fall asleep on the couch together. But this, this beast they call a Two Year Old, this I don’t know how to tame.
Sometimes, when she’s asleep in her crib at night, I peek through the door and make sure I see her blanket rising and falling (does this ever stop, parents?) and I pray. Oh Lord, that girl makes me pray. For her heart to stay wild but ever-tender; for inhibition to never be a part of her personality (she will start dancing anywhere she likes the beat); for her to love Jesus, people, and her parents. Nothing in this life has ever made me feel more aware of my need for Christ than parenting. Yet He knows what we need, and what she needs, and every single day we get up and try again because this child has brought us more joy, more challenges, more laughter, and more bags under our eyes than I ever thought possible.
So we salute you, Second Year. May you be as wonderful as the first.