Dearest Sydney,

Prepare yourself, because I’m assuming that at least for the next 30 years, I will come to you on June 26th and say “I can’t believe you’re ___ years old!” It’s a fact of life that never ceases to shock a parent–your babies grow up fast. It’s cliche, but it’s true: I can’t believe you’re TWO years old already. I can picture the day of your birth like it was yesterday! Serious contractions by 4am, hospital by 6:30am, you were born at 9:40am. As a mom, when you only have one child, you’ve already experienced the previously unknown love for a baby that swallows you whole. But still it’s hard to imagine having that same passionate love for another new person that you’ve not really seen. And yet? When you looked at me with those puffy eyes just a teensy bit of red fuzz on your head…
Oh how I loved you so. I’ll never forget the tears streaming down my face as I laid on a gurney with an ultrasound wand on my stomach, as I saw the minuscule buds of your future teeth, being told that they belonged to my DAUGHTER. I cherish the memory of the feeling of you dancing around, safe inside of me. But that feeling? IS NOTHING compared to the joy I’ve experienced in the last two years since you came into our world and made it better just by your presence.

To say that your personality has blossomed this past year is an understatement. Your personality has EXPLODED onto the scene over the last 12 months! Although you save your flare for those closest to you, we’ve seen you laugh and tease and taunt. You can drive us all crazy with your insistence on being heard–and held. You’ve learned to walk and run and climb. You’ve learned to communicate in a variety of ways…the last resort seeming to be actual words in English! You are still a petite little thing, but you are pretty tough. As I’m writing this you have many bruises and some scraps as well!

One of the things I love the most about you (and which also makes me want to rip my hair out occasionally) is your desire to be close to me. Having you snuggled up under my chin is perhaps my favorite feeling in the entire world. Hearing you sucking on the three fingers of your left hand, and tilting your head towards your “MinKAY” melts me over and over again.

At night we have a special routine. We snuggle, I sing, I put you in your crib with your Minky & glow worm, you lay on your back (sucking fingers, of course) and you reach up your index finger on your right hand, and I reach out mine. We touch. You smile and then wave. And I resist every urge in my body to crawl into that crib with you, hold you and never let you go.

I could fill a book with the hopes and dreams I have for you, with the lessons I long to teach you, with the character traits I’m determined to instill, the self-esteem that is so necessary to be the woman I know you can be. When I think about all the paths and options (and boys) that will be presented to you in this lifetime, I have a tendency to panic. There is one and only one thought that brings me peace. That the God of the universe is yours. Though it seems an impossibility, I know in my head that He loves you even more than I do. He longs for you to choose the right path and is walking alongside your Dad and I as we try with all our might to guide you without pushing you. He’ll provide grace for you and for us, because I know we’ll all mess up.

But always, always, ALWAYS know, my sweet Birdie, that I love you. OH, I love you so.

You are my heart.