When you were born, I held you around the clock. Part of it was due to the fact that the first night home, you refused to be out of my arms, and part of it was because I’d read so much about skin to skin contact being good for babies. Because of this, I got to know you pretty quickly. I was a pro at knowing when you were happy, when you were getting hungry, when you were sleepy. I kissed your tiny little face constantly. I didn’t know it was possible to spend so much time just watching someone sleep and enjoy every second of it.
I knew you, I knew you were different from any other baby. I’d honestly questioned the existence of the soul before you. You showed me that we do indeed have souls; I see yours in little sparks that shoot from your eyes, your special ways of thinking and acting, a well to pull smiles and laughs and tears from that only you can access or understand.
When you were born, I couldn’t imagine you as a toddler. I thought of the babies I knew before and even loved, and I was sad to think that you could turn out like any of them. It’s not that they weren’t wonderful tiny people- there was just no way anyone could be as wonderful as you.
Imagine my surprise when you kept your you-ness right through toddlerhood, and straight into your third year. You’re still you, and even MORE you! Your newborn grunts have been built upon to include an impressive vocabulary. Your smiles get bigger and more expressive every day. Your love of cuddles even has a voice now! I love to hear you tell me, “Mommy, I wanna cuddle!” You are a busy girl, after all, and to know that you are still the same person, you still need me, and you still have all of those sweet qualities you showed me from the beginning… it’s astounding.
Mothers, including me, are often so afraid of “losing their babies”. But we should have more faith in little people like you. You know who you are. As long as you continue to share that with me, I will be grateful, whether we find ourselves playing on the small slides at the park or we’re filling out college applications. You are my favorite you, all of the time.