This morning you got up and ran into the kitchen, excited to see a present waiting on your chair. "Sammy present! Sammy present" you screamed, little fingers rushing over to tear off the paper. When you finally got it open, you gasped with wonder, eyes wide.
It was a My Little Pony--one of your mommy's favorites from childhood, which is fitting. Because you are so much like me. You look just like me, you pout just like me, you demand big things of the world just like me and you despair when things do not go your way. Just like me.
In the past year, you have been the daughter I hoped for, loving shoes, tea parties and lip gloss, but you are not quite the daughter I expected. Though you have your girly moments and you love your dolls fed and your nails manicured, you also exclaim over trucks. Every Wed. morning, you hear the garbage truck coming and you scream, "Mommy! Truck! Mommy! Truck!" until I rush to your crib, pull you out and let you watch the garbage men do their work. You love the moon, space and all planets, most of which you can name on sight. You seek out balls, primarily of the basket variety and you adore your father above all other human beings.
But you love your "ishy" the best.
You are your own person, nobody pushes Sammy around. You scream when you do not get what you need, but you still have more patience than most toddlers should. You wait when I ask you to and you seem excited to please, to help and to make people like you. You are hard not to like. Your brother thinks you are the bees knees and more and more, you are warming up to him. When you think no one is looking, you hug him, kiss him and breathe him in. You ask for him when you wake up in the morning.
You are smiles and laughter and silliness and diaper changes on the floor because you refuse to go onto your table. You are "pokey" 30 times a day and "baba bla sheep" 30 more. You are books on mommy's "lap, lap" and requests for "Elmo and chocolate and cheese." You want to watch the monkey, the dog and Elmo and if I would let you, you could eat 45 chocolate chips for dinner one night and hate chocolate the next.
I can't believe you are two and yet it feels like you have been in my life forever. How could you not be? Your soul is strong, your force in this world large. How is it possible that just 2 years and one day ago, I did not even know you. You are my daughter, the one I wished for every day and I can't imagine any other now. You may love your daddy more and tell me to go back to my "puter" when I come to get you, but I am your mommy and I love you fiercely, passionately and more than you may ever know.
The other night I dreamt that you fell off a boat and I could not get to you in time to save you. I woke up crying, but reassured that it was just a dream. Because, in real life, I will always get to you. I will always be there for you. I will always save you, whether you are 2 or 40.
Happy birthday baby. I can't wait to see more of this lovely, independent, intelligent girl who is my daughter. How did I get so lucky?