Two years ago tonight, large, fluffy snowflakes were falling silently on grass that was still vibrantly green. I was experiencing waves of pain unlike anything I have ever felt before, and have only felt once more since. I had no idea what to expect, or what life would be in the next two years, I only knew things were about to change forever.
In two years, I have learned more from you than any number of years spent in school. No amount of money could buy anyone this type of education. Life, as a young adult without children, is quite static in general. Small variations here and there, but in two years of my twenties, little changed. Different relationships, different friends, a different job. Even leaving college to start my next chapter seemed less significant than it should have been, even at the time. Two years is nothing in the lifetime of mine until you were born. Now, I truly understand the significance of two years.
In two years, I have watched you grow from a helpless, albeit, large and quite loud infant, who incessantly screamed her demands in an untranslatable language to her tired parents who felt helpless and useless. No amount of baby books, classes, reading or even advice from be-there-done-that persons could have ever prepared us for you. We spent many of those first nights clinging to fleeting moments of silence and sleep and wondering when it would all change. We counted the days until we could regain normalcy...and now I long for a moment back in those sleepless months to look at you again, memorize your face, your smell, your laugh. I have many pictures, thousands really, and even hours of home video capturing your first steps, words, giggles and smiles. But I still long for the nights of moments I would have never thought to record.
In two years, you have become a little person, physically, but your personality is as big as it will ever be. Your sweet demands make me smile, and I stare at you wondering when you became so smart, so descriptive, so communicative. I think back over the past few months, how much you have changed since the winter, since your sister was born, since yesterday. I feel so proud for you, so proud of you.
But it also makes me realize how unchanged I am. You understand most of a language you have taught yourself by observation in less than 2 years. I could never do that in my adult life, ever. I still only remember the bad words from four years of Spanish class. But you, you know what to say, you understand even more. And my mind is powerless to learn in comparison to yours. I often hear of the young mind described as a sponge, which sounds metaphorical, until you see the literal version. It is enough to blow my non-absorbent mind.
I am most amazed by you as a sister. I watched you so closely today, your long blond hair blowing in wisps as you sailed back and forth on your swing. When did your hair get so long? You have amazed me most with your incredible growth since you sister was born. There was no transition for you, you took to her as though she had always been there, and though I know you may never remember life without your sister, it was there. The day she was born you instantly lost any interest in my once swollen belly, I know you knew that your sister was here in the flesh and my womb no longer carried any more importance. You loved her from day one, and I have never seen siblings act as you do together.
I am fascinated by you. The way you are selfless, as a two-year-old, where selflessness does not typically exist. But then there is you. A two-year-old who is concerned about where her sister is, when she needs to eat, be bathed and cared for. A two-year-old who sacrificed her time on a swing today so she could push her little sister gently in her swing and extract bubbly giggles. I know I loved you even before you were born, but watching you take care of your baby sister, watching you love her with this selfless unconditional, pure emotion, makes me feel so incredibly inadequate. Because I could never communicate through any medium the feelings I have for you today. Its not just love, not even close. It is not a word I have ever known. I am sure one doesn't exist.
All I can do is tell you I love you over and over, hoping words have some exponential value that add up over time and if I can just say it an infinite amount of times you will someday understand. But you won't, I know, until your first baby is two years old, and you try to explain to her how you feel.
And all I can do for now, is look forward to your tomorrows, and try to slow down time, lock in these memories and hope I am everything you need me to be, because you are everything thats gives my life meaning.
Happy birthday, my baby girl...