Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two Years Old

Ariana is officially two today. Not that she knows it, necessarily. We keep trying to emphasize this is a special today and oh how we love you and happy birthday bunny... but I think she doesn't quite grasp the magnitude of the day nor understand why everyone seems to be extra smiley and overly bubbly around her. She might even be finding it kind of annoying. Or maybe she's just sick. (She's a wee bit grumpy today.)

It's been a whirlwind. I don't think any amount of advice, information, horror stories, anecdotes, gushings, etc. from other parents could have adequately prepared me for the actuality that is my daughter: powerful, spirited, willful, observant, insightful, empathetic, bubbly, infectiously happy at times, insanely chaotic at others. She is equal parts empowered and dependent.

I've always been stunned by how many things changed during the pregnancy and first few months of being a new mother... heightened hearing and smell, softer bones and joints, increased sensitivity to potentially dangerous situations, and an uncanny ability to worry about everything (perhaps that was mine to begin with).

What's funny is that I still have a superhuman sense of smell... I still worry about her constantly and fret over her safety, her happiness, her comfort, etc. It's funny how my world view and perspective shifted to reorient around her so completely. I didn't really expect that to happen as fully as it has.

Two years down and countless ones to go if all goes well. It's been an insane, blessed, difficult, and rewarding ride so far. Kind of like Mr. Toad meets Indiana Jones meets skydiving meets swimming with hungry, man-eating sharks wrapped in crazed monkeys. Something like that.

When I celebrate my daughter's birth tonight, here is what I will silently toast in her honor:
  • her laugh and the way her smile bursts upon her face
  • the little dances she makes up (the infamous butt wiggle among our faves)
  • how her feet sound as she runs down the hallway... her little legs blurred with speed
  • the excitement she feels when we understand something she's said
  • how she likes to make Andy or me jealous by kissing the other parent... or a chair... or the dog... or her toes
  • the way she runs to show Andy what she's wearing and how her hair looks as soon as her bath is done
  • the exploding joy inside of me when she wraps her little arms around my neck and squeezes as hard as she can... her happy "Mama" sounding like greeting an old friend or finding something precious long-forgotten in the flurry of life

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