And now we’re nearing two

Dear Millie,

I have some friends that celebrate their kids’ half birthdays, and some of them even have photoshoots and cakes. The day came and went for you, no big celebration, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t note it in my head and think how crazy life is that you were sitting between your first and second birthdays. While I say I remember you being little, I also don’t. It is all a sort of blur, and now this very independent and active version of you is all that I really know. Your personality continues to be what it always has been: stubborn, strong, easy-going, and independent. And it’s only becoming more apparent.

You want to be outside all day, every day. The heat in Florida has hit the intolerable stage where even if we are out at 8am, I am profusely sweating (and I don’t really sweat!). You don’t care, and it is all you want to do. During the day you run to the back door and say “Side! Side!” begging to go out. When I drive by the park and don’t stop, which you somehow are able to notice, you cry uncontrollably. Honestly, you rarely cry and the first time this happened, I thought something was seriously wrong with you, like your finger was pinched in your car seat. I pulled over and got out to check on you, only to realize that it upset you on the deepest level that I dared to drive by the park and not stop for you to get out and play. The swing is still your favorite, but you have no fear making your way up to the big kid slides. You mostly want to drop sticks and other things down the slide and then either make your way down the slide or climb back down the play set. You also want to climb trees.

You have no fear of water, which is both great and terrifying, especially living somewhere like South Florida. We just started swim lessons with you (later than I originally wanted), and you love it so far! I figured you would—you are obsessed with baths and the pool. I went back and forth about what kind of lessons I wanted for you and wound up with something more traditional. Everyone laughs at me and your daddy because we were competitive swimmers—you’d think we would teach you to swim ourselves. But it’s much easier having someone else do the parts where I would inevitably be too easy on you. We have to stay inside and watch from there, and that barrier was already enough to make me almost flip out—I didn’t think I’d be this mom, but here I am. You, however, are fine. No tears, doing great, and always making me laugh because I anticipate things that simply aren’t going to happen with you. You’re stubborn and strong-willed personality shows in your swim lessons, because you show zero fear of the water and don’t follow the directions of your instructor very well sometimes. You drop off the side of the wall when you’re supposed to be holding on and sink to the bottom of the pool and then try to swim to your teacher. When she gets you up, I always think you’ll be crying, but you laugh. It is funny and terrifying how comfortable you are in the water, and it shows how strong your personality is to do what you want when you want, even in new, unchartered territories like the pool.

You’ve been talking so much more and your words continue to be mostly animals and random, not-really-“usable” words. You don’t ask for food or specific items, you just tell me about birds, rain, babies, and turtles. When there’s any sort of animal that we’ve taught you growls, you ROAR the loudest ROAR ever. At story time, when they read “Brown Bear,” your bear growl scares the other kids. It’s adorable and hilarious. You have a mix of both English and German words, which makes your daddy so proud (you switched from calling him dada to dadddddyyyy). Also you started calling me mom-mom and it makes my heart melt so hard that I will do whatever you’d like at that moment!

You aren’t the cuddliest baby, but when you get up in the morning the first thing you do is come to our bed to nurse and then spend time with us. You love pointing to my eyes, nose, mouth, head, and ears. You then proceed to do the same to your daddy to wake him up. Our bed is one of your favorite places and you run there before your nap, after your nap, and before bed as well. I love that you feel so safe and comforted in our house and room, and it’s become some of my favorite times of day to try to get you still enough to cuddle with you in bed.

The past two months have been a bit crazy and, per usual, you keep us on our toes. We spent three days in the hospital because the doctors thought you might be having seizures. Everything checked out okay, and it was a feeling of such relief for us—and you, my silly child, per usual reminded me that every situation is what we make of it. You made the hospital stay feel like a vacation, delighted to meet new people and explore the halls when you weren’t hooked up to monitors. We played in the playroom and took you around in a wagon, which you thought was the coolest thing ever. I am again reminded with every health issue that you have faced, ultimately, how lucky we have been, and so many others aren’t. I still am working to find a way to give back that is more meaningful than what we’ve done in the past, and I believe I can come up with something because of this platform and promise you and everyone that I will.

I am sure I am missing so much about you in these letters. There are so many little things that make you, you. We still both try our best to juggle the work and personal life, to be sure to spend as much time as possible with you while also getting our work done. We love the job and community that we’ve built and it makes us both feel so happy to know that we are able to provide for you and our little family (and team!). But most days we just want to sit back and play with you and watch you discover and explore. The days sometimes go slow but the time passes so fast, and we don’t want to miss out. Watching you learn something new, which happens daily, makes me so happy I can’t even explain it to you. I am so proud of the little human you are becoming. You are loving and patient with all people and inquisitive and kind. Every single day I wake up and look forward to getting you out of bed, bringing you into our bed to snuggle and tell stories, and spending the day with you.

I truly love you more than I knew was possible.

Love,

Mama

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