May 2, 2008

TWO

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Dear Sam,

Two years ago at this very moment I lay in the dark in an uncomfortable hospital bed with my brand new 8 hour old baby in the bassinet next to me. We didn't get much sleep that first night. I know now that even 8 hour old babies get hungry, and unfortunately I wasn't able to give you what you needed, although I wouldn't realize it until a couple of days later. You were perfect. Your hair was so blonde it was almost white, it reflected the light like silver. Your eyes were so dark that I couldn't really tell they were blue, although I knew they were. You were my world, wrapped up in a blanket like a burrito, and I finally knew what love at first sight felt like.

It's hard to believe that two whole years have passed since you were that tiny baby. You were so small that every single item of clothing was too big, that you could sleep on my chest with your feet ending barely past my belly button. You couldn't move, couldn't hold up your head, couldn't smile or play. I spent so much of my time then just looking at you, watching you awake and asleep and loving you. My first child, a son, named for an ancestor and a friend, the love of our lives in a warm, sweet smelling bundle.

When you were a baby, you hated taking baths. Now, you would stay in the bath for hours, splashing and playing until your fingers and toes turned into prunes and the water was ice cold. You love water, and I can't wait to take you to the beach this summer and watch you play in the waves. You are all little boy - I look at you now with your new haircut and your chin that's lost all it's baby fat, and your mouth full of little boy teeth, and wonder where the last two years have gone. You love cars and trains. You impress me every day. Where did you learn how to make elephant noises, how to say 'choo choo' and pull with your arm like you're pulling a whistle chain, to do the hand movements to 'Itsy Bitsy Spider'? How do these things happen so fast when I'm not looking?

Your favorite book is 'Go, Dog, Go' and I have passed another mommy milestone in having the entire book memorized. I could recite it to you no matter where we are if it will make you happy. You like books, and I'm glad for that. You point at the pictures and listen to the words I say. I think you're storing them all up. You don't really talk yet, although you've started saying 'drop' again lately and we've heard you slip up and let your words out a couple of times. I think that one day you're just going to start spouting sentences and surprise us all. I have my moments, the mommy fear kicks in. Sometimes when you're frustrated or upset you hit yourself in the head with your tiny fists. I try to tell myself it's normal, that it's just frustration about not being able to communicate, but baby, part of being a mommy is worrying about your little boy. I'll be happy when this time passes and I can look back and laugh at myself for worrying.

You are smart. You know your shapes, and can point out all of the characters from "Blue's Clues" and "Dora the Explorer". I know you watch too much, TV, but you do love "Bee Movie". The other night we went out for dinner and you ate your entire meal on the bench next to Justin because no high chairs were available. The entire meal. I couldn't believe how good you were, how it didn't seem to matter that you weren't in a high chair. You love slides, and you climb to the highest one every time, unafraid to sit down and push off and fly down the lenth of it. You will do it over and over. You like to swing, and are good at letting me know when you're ready to get down and start sliding again.

I love it that you are a cuddler. You understand when Daddy or I get hurt, and you give us kisses to make us feel better. Sometimes you kiss us for no reason at all. I love the way you cuddle up next to me in the early morning or right before bedtime, laying with your head next to mine, and pull my arm around you to hold you near. I can never have enough hugs from you.

We play in the back yard, and have been discovering all of the best playgrounds for toddlers around Bellingham. Tomorrow some of our closest friends and family will come to one of those parks to help us celebrate your second birthday. You are loved, little man, you are loved so much that I can't even believe it. Your Aunt Kira comes over to watch you every Monday, and when she leaves, you cry. I am always sad to see you cry, but it fills my heart with joy that you love her and know you're loved by her, and that you miss her when she leaves. Your Grandma Edie comes over on Tuesday and Thursdays, and you do the same. I love to watch you interact with your family. I am so excited for you to grow up surrounded by these people, in this wonderful place.

Your Grandma Helene and Aunt Lianna are here visiting, I'm happy they'll be here for your party, and you have been having a blast with them around. I wish we could see them more often, but I will make sure that you always get to see them and talk to them, even when the visits are a little further between.

Sam, you are amazing. The love I feel for you fills my heart, wells out my eyes, and runs down my cheeks. Sometimes I am overwhelmed just holding you in my lap with my arms around you, breathing into your hair and feeling the warmth of your skin. Two. I can't wait for the next one, and the next one... I want to hold you here with me forever, but also can't wait to see what you're going to do next.

Happy Birthday my not so baby little boy. I love you.

Mama

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