Today you are two, dear Daphne and you only grow more amazing each day. I tried to write this post last night and ended up with tears running down my face unable to finish. So I’ve decided to write you a real letter filled with emotion and pare it down here for the world to read.
You are full of wonder and discovery. This age is so beautiful because it is so apparent you are learning at every moment. Not a day goes by when you don’t repeat something that we say and learn a new word, object or concept. We don’t have language that we need to clean up but we probably should start limiting the pop songs I love to dance to with you. You ask for “more bass” by name but you would prefer the Winnie the Pooh theme song above all else. You could spin in circles for a good twenty minutes dancing to that and are so full of static your hair is standing end to end. Although we are not at them as frequently you are fascinated by track meets and love the chance to go for a run, hold a stop watch or cheer on athletes. You have run at least 400m on more than one occasion and it’s clear our love for endurance sports has already been passed along to you.
We started talking to you about the baby a while ago, but it was in the last three months that the idea really took hold. It started when we talked about the chair you sit in at dinner, and how when you get bigger you will sit in a different chair and the baby will sit there. That prompted a series of questions that went something like “orange? baby?” to ask if you would have to share one of your favorite fruits with this “baby” that would soon be arriving. Your answer was consistently “no” as if to say “I don’t care who this baby is I’m not ready to share my things.” It’s going to be interesting, but I have no doubt you will be a great big sister even if there are a few bumps along the way.
It’s been two months since we introduced the idea of potty to you and while you aren’t using the potty exclusively you spend most of the day without a diaper on. We are happy to have cut the amount of diapers we wash down by 60-70% because of course soon we’ll be back on a regular schedule of washing with the baby. You have become a pro at asking for a snack (in the most nasal voice possible) once you use the potty and that could be either two goldfish crackers or one fruit snack… because, we really spoil you.
As I stop to think about the two years that have gone by I feel both thankfulness and guilt. I love the time we have had together and still can’t help but question if I’m not spending enough time with you. I think every parent must feel like that since there is always the sense that you could give more time, more patience more fully aware moments. I suppose it is true, and keeping that in perspective helps us stay balanced each day and chart our course for the future.
That’s one of the reasons this past year has been so interesting. You dad navigated one of the most difficult situations and together we chose to change the direction of our lives. It became clear that his value as a person was slowly being chipped away by staying in his position and to agree to stay would mean placing work as the priority above all else. It was a heartbreaking realization when we finally admitted that what we wanted to hold on to and believe was true had changed. Work doesn’t have to be like that, in fact I don’t think it should be like that, which is why we made a change. What we do with our lives does not have to be what everyone else tells you to do, or what everyone else has done… and I hope we can encourage you in the same way when it’s time.
I want you to grow up and explore all of your potential and know you are capable of more than you imagined. I want to cheer you on and let you know that I always believed in you and still do. I want you to realize that nothing will change how beautiful you are and there is nothing you need to do to prove your worth. Your dad and I love you more than you can imagine but your heavenly father loves you even more. Your life is bigger than chance or circumstance and you were created with purpose, like all people on this planet.
You are a gift, Daphne and I will never forget that.