Happy Birthday, Ryan!

R birth 12month R13A

Sweet, RyRy, you have grown so much this last year.  Here we are-already on the eve of your second birthday. As I held you and rocked you tonight, I grieved a little as it was the last time I would hold my one year old, but then I smiled as I thought about the little girl that you are. There is so much I want to tell you about your 2-year-old self!

In twelve short months you went from being a baby to a little girl.  You still like being held, but you love being independent with tasks you are able (and you love trying on other things). At night you still say “Daddy hold you” or “Mommy sit.” You are a non-stop source of conversation for me, for your sisters, teachers, friends, babies and anyone else who might listen.

You sure do love babies! When we are out and about if you see a baby we always have to walk over to see him or her. If I ever can’t find you I can just look for a stroller or an infant car seat, and there you are. Of course, you also love all of your baby dolls and such great care you take of them! I love watching you sing to them, rub their backs, and hush them when they are “crying.” It shows me that you are a caring and kind soul, even at such a young age.

I love having you as my little buddy during the days. We spend a lot of time running errands during the day and doing things at your sisters’ school. Sometimes I feel guilty about just dragging you along with me, but it doesn’t phase you one bit. I think you like tagging along with me, right down to the way you drop whatever you are doing to come with me to the potty!

You are so kind and sweet to everyone you meet. I love that you are eager to tell people your name and also your baby’s name. Kitt and Garet’s teachers even refer to you as the class mascot because we are there so much. Teachers that we don’t even know still know who you are and you are eager to run up to them and give them a hug. Even though your turn to go to their school is still another year away, you will be ready!

You are calm, laid back and easy going almost all of the time. Every once in a while, though, you let your voice be heard when you are not getting your way or when you do not like what someone is doing. It caught me off guard at first but I know it is a sign of your independence, confidence and assertiveness. Those are all great qualities!

You love trying to keep up with your sisters. You run, you climb, you try to ride the big girl bikes. Sometimes you scare me but I know it’s because you look up to Kitt and Garet and want to be just like them. Every once in a while you get scared—sometimes it’s of a dog or a loud noise but sometimes, it’s a shadow or an inanimate object at a museum. You say, “I scared” and then ask to be picked up.  I love that you can tell me you are afraid of something and I love how much you still enjoy cuddling. I love how you rub your face against mine, kiss me right on the lips, hug me tight, and say “I love you.” Your kindness and compassion are evident in so many ways.

You love playing peek-a-boo, finding your “button”, singing songs, playing with blocks, playing with your sisters’ dolls and princesses (especially when they are at school), and “writing” your letters.

You love your daddy! I love how you run to the door when you hear the beep of his car alarm, holding your arms up ready to hug him, and squealing “Daddy.” I hope no matter how old you are you will always want to run to your daddy.

You are constantly reminding me to cherish every moment and to notice the little things. We will be out walking when you stop me in my tracks to show me something. I need to slow down more often to take in my surroundings and to watch you and your sisters for I know it will only be a matter of time before you won’t want to hold my hand as we go for walks.

I love how you love reading books to yourself, to your babies, and also to me. I also love how you will listen to people read to you until you fall asleep. Even after we’ve read for a long time, you still ask us to “sit” before leaving the room.

You have taught me so much! While your sisters’ first two years felt slower, filled with different challenges, your first two years have flown by. You have been my constant companion, my buddy, my love! You have taught me that going to classes, going for long walks, having picnics and playing outside are fun, but that you enjoy being with me just as much. You have released me of the guilt that I used to feel. You taught me that adding another child to a family does not stretch my love for any of you—instead, my love is multiplied. When Kitt and Garet were born my heart was so full. It was so full of love for them that I was not sure I could love another child as much, but oh, how I can!

Being a mommy is the hardest job I have ever had. It brings about new challenges every single day, but it has taught me that I am capable of unconditional love. For even on days when I am sleep-deprived, cranky and frustrated I look at you. Sometimes you say “You okay, Mama?” I look at your trusting eyes that love and accept me for who I am—and then I am able to continue loving all of you! Many days I look at you and your sisters and think of the things I did wrong. But then you smile or tell me you love me or say just the right thing and I get it. I remember that you see me as your mommy—as the person who has super powers to make everything better. For I am YOUR mommy. I know you better than anyone else. I understand your cries, your squeals, your nuances, your smiles. You need me and for that, I am thankful. I will always be here for you. I love you with all my heart, Pookie, and I always will!  Mommy


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