You are two years old now.
People always say, “Where does the time go?” but I never do.
I know exactly where it went.
It went to mornings spent painting, to afternoons dancing in the kitchen, to diaper changes, to baths, to waiting for the clock to hit 4:30 so that we could barge into your dad’s office. It went to episodes of Daniel Tiger and Elmo. It went to peaceful nap times. It went to dishes in the sink, to walks around the block listening to podcasts and admiring other home’s gardens, to glasses of wine in the last of the evening’s light. It went to baskets of toys, to play dates with friends, to making pancakes with blueberries or sprinkles. It went to our favorite books. It went to packing away baby clothes in totes neatly lined beneath our basement stairs. It went to finding your blanket before bed, to rare date nights out where all Dad and I could talk about was you, to visiting grandparents and playing with cousins. It went to jumping on Dad in the early morning hours, to watering the plants, to road trips, to rocking baby dolls and to rocking you, too.
All of these things and more, the past two years have gone to it all.
Every day, we are more in awe of you, June. As an infant, I held you and wondered who you would become. And now that I am watching you emerge, I fall deeper and deeper in love with you.
One night after dinner this week, you began panting with excitement at the prospect of ice cream for dessert. You were panting so hard that you began laughing and called yourself a dog. This small and silly action amazed us. Neither dad nor I have ever talked about how dogs pant and so the fact that you were pretending to do this completely surprised us. How does she come up with these things? We find ourselves asking again and again. Every day it is something new.
June, I am so grateful that I have been able to spend these past two years with you. Staying at home to raise you is the greatest thing I have ever done. I’ve always felt misplaced in this world. I’ve watched your dad chase his dreams and accomplish so much in his career, but I’ve never felt that drive before. But in spending my days raising you, I really believe that I have found my purpose. I wake up each day looking forward to spending my time with you and feeling like I am truly doing something great. As my daughter, June, you have shown me my greatest strengths. And I will never forget this gift that you have given me. You’ve given me a piece of myself that wasn’t there before, or maybe it was just in hibernation, I’m not sure. Either way, these past two years have taught me more about myself than I ever knew possible.
The world is a very big place, June. It is hard to know who you can trust and what is the right answer. But I hope that you know, I will always be here for you to fall back on, to love you, to raise you up.
Happy birthday, June. I am excited to watch you grow more and more this year.