All week I have been trying to find the words to express how I feel as my daughter's second birthday approaches. When I think about it at first tears well up in my eyes, despair creeps into my heart. My baby! The one who I swaddled and snuggled to my breast! Is going to be two! Is talking! And expressing opinions! Requiring discipline! Where is my baby!?
And then I waffle. I wonder at the awesomeness of communicating with my daughter and the amazement I feel when she says things like "Ride horsies! At the carousel!" and when she names every single photo in a book, counts to 15, and sings her ABCs without missing a single letter. I revel in her arms around my neck and her requests for more kisses. I get all weepy again when I evaluate the blessing of participating in this growing life: to witness how she changes daily, to have the opportunity to be her mama, to look on as she discovers the world around her and herself.
At the same time? My daughter turning 2 is hard. It's been harder on me than it was for me to turn 30. I think it's compounded by the impending arrival of our new baby. I worry for my daughter. I worry that I'm robbing her of what remains of her babyhood, that I'm stealing time with me and her dad that is still rightfully hers.
Maybe it's not so hard on other people (you know, the ones who aren't pregnant). My mom told me that it wasn't so upsetting for me to turn two (my sister would not be born until I was nearly 4 years old).
Unfortunately I cannot stop the passage of time. This birthday will arrive. At 9:14 tomorrow night my daughter will officially be a two-year-old. And in six weeks' time she will have a baby brother. We will all strike out on this journey together. We're gonna make it.
And now if I could just quit CRYING.
Oh my baby girl. You'll always be my baby girl.