March 21, 2009

A letter to Evie on her 2nd birthday

Dear Evie,
Another year has passed, and what a fun one! For the first time, you seem to understand the concept of birthdays - well, sort of. You're still fixated on your friend Nofar's birthday, which was two weeks ago, but I can understand why it stuck in your head, since there was a bounce house involved.

You have accomplished so many amazing things this year. First steps, first words, and even the first pieces of potty training. But the best part, by far, has been seeing your personality shine through as you grow.

I tell myself that I must be doing something right, because you are the happiest kid I know. When I pick you up at daycare, I always hear compliments about your sunny disposition and your effortless transition into the 2-year-old class.

You love to talk, narrating the activities of our day and speaking of yourself in the third person, as if you're preparing for your first foray into Twitter or Facebook. "Evie sit down." "Mommy make dinner." "Evie walking."

You're a budding artist, and we do all we can to encourage you. One of your birthday gifts, which you'll open after your nap, is an easel. You learned your colors from the oversized crayons we bought you, which you use to enthusiastically scribble Pollock-esque pictures that you title "Airplane," "Helicopter," and the like.

If art doesn't turn out to be your lifelong love, then perhaps music will be. You love to dance (and already dance better than Mommy), can sing the first couple lines of "Twinkle, Twinkle," and play a piano with remarkable dexterity - even pausing to turn the pages of the music. I can't wait until we move into a new house where you can play a real piano with Mommy, and in the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the little 2-octave wooden one that you'll unwrap this afternoon.

It's kind of silly to think about what your future hobbies or interests may be, because you are fascinated with so many things. You love anything that you have the words to describe, and that list grows each day. You enjoy things that move: airplanes, helicopters, cars (especially blue ones), buses, and garbage trucks. You're fond of dinosaurs, butterflies, Sesame Street characters (particularly Elmo and Cookie Monster), balls, cats, bubbles, and your humidifier ('Fier nice!).

I'm flattered by how much you love to emulate your Mommy. You pretend to put on makeup and talk on a cell phone, and you're delighted when I let you apply lotion or lip balm. You're a great little helper, eagerly putting away dishes, wiping up spills, and going on "missions" to get vegetables from the freezer or deliver treasures from one parent to the other.

I've heard about the "terrible twos," and while I'm prepared for you to exert your independence, I have no reason to expect trouble from you. You have your bossy moments - ordering your parents to dance, grant you cookies, or play Shiny Happy People/Furry Happy Monsters for the 483rd time. But you understand the meaning of No, even on the rare occasions when we have to say it to you, and you recover beautifully from the little disappointments of daily life.

You're a great kid, Evie. You're funny, smart, sweet, and cute. But most importantly, you're a happy two-year-old. Even though you know how to say "I love you" (and sign it), I think it will be a long time before you understand just how much your mommy loves you.

Happy Birthday, Evie.


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