You will scowl at anyone who offers you assistance or presumes your needs, even if they presume correctly. You want to pick your own cup, pick your own bowl, pick your own spoon, fetch your own cheese stick. You don’t want anybody to help you don your jacket but you do want everybody to watch so you can yell I did it! I did it over my head! You don’t want anybody to help you with your shoes and when you put them on the wrong feet you don’t want anybody to help you out of your shoes, either. But if we suggest merely, “Switchies, L!” and leave you to your own resources, you will switch them determinedly, with pride.
You don’t want to kiss; you want to grab my head by my hair and draw me to you for a passionate embrace. You don’t want to hug; you want me to hold my arms aloft like a safety net so you, the fearless acrobatic high-wire act, can fling yourself with abandon onto the soft ground of my body. And then you still don’t want me to hug you; you want to take your bounce and leap again and only nestle in when the ride is fully over. But oh, can you nestle.
But never for long. If you’re awake, you always break off before the nestling gets too good. You meet this world on your terms and yours alone.
You want to read books just like your big sister and you want to climb up just like your sister and you want to push the button just like your big sister and you want to pull the handle just like your big sister and don’t let your smaller stature be any reasonable deterrent, because if E can do it you want to do it. You want to be like E. You love your mommy and your teachers and your favorite friends and you really love your daddy but your eyes light up most for your sister.
(And when she’s not screaming in frustration because of you she’s your biggest cheerleader. She translates your words and helps you reach the button and chastises us for not picking you up faster that you may reach her vista. She reads you your books and tells you her dreams and always, always you have a center role in the adventures she’s eternally concocting. She cries if she hears you cry and she needs consoling herself when you are disciplined and she’s the one who reminded me I need to dance the pee-pee dance when you pee on your potty. She could never let you be deprived of anything she’s ever had herself.)
Two years ago tomorrow you were born at near high noon; yet we named you for the night and why? We didn’t know it then but it simply must be because you have this whole universe inside you. You have unexplored mysteries and unidentified molecules and heat flares and Milky Ways of starry brightness. You can rumble and storm but when you shine your brightness upon us, we know everything is okay.
Two years ago tomorrow you came to us and we didn’t know what we would do with you, another kid, a child number two.
And now we don’t know how we’d live without you.
Happy birthday tomorrow, Two. We love you.
To read the post from L's first birthday, go here.