April 13, 2012

Dear Heidi,

First, happy second birthday! Let’s just get that out of the way! What a year it has been, watching you grow and develop into the adorable lil’ blonde bundle that you are today. Sure, you’ve still got to fill out some of that blonde hair—can you say mullet?—but the rest of you has filled out just fine! You are our little Tank! Make no mistake, at the age of two you can hold your own against your brother, though you’re only half his age, give or take.

It was a shaky start, that April 14th two years ago, but we knew we’d arrive at this day and you’d be claiming victory over any sense of prematurity. Apparently this is the point when “they“ stop considering your adjusted age to account for your early arrival. Today, you are a two year old, and only that.

But we as your parents know that you "caught up to your age" a while ago. We’ve been delighting in your whole sentences for months now. We’ve been marvelling at your agility and we’ve been awed by those lungs—which two years ago needed help to get going—that now carry the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ just as well as they rattle the window panes when you’re hollering about some perceived injustice. Music to our ears all around.

I know you’re still figuring out what it means to be a “little sister” and I don’t think that’s a challenge you’ll settle much before you and Sacha finally move out in your later years (but not too late, please and thank you). But what a sense of pride I have on a day like today, when I look back at the last 24 months to see how far you’ve come; to realize the potential of your growth and think that two years ago, I held you—almost all of you, for you were so wee tiny—in the palm of my hand.

The interesting thing about you being child #2 is that I have a sense of what your next year will bring in terms of expected milestones: better language skills, better eating skills, learning to ride a bike, etc. But even though I know it’s all coming, I don’t for one second think it won’t be amazing as it unfolds, for you are the only you, and you’ll bring your own unique flair to each benchmark and new skill. But, as I do in these letters, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. For the moment, I’ll just celebrate your second birthday, watch you eat cake (make sure you stuff as much in your mouth at the same time as possible, as is your particular style), and beam with pride at the most adorable little girl I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

Happy birthday,

All my love,