On Tuesday you turned two. Two whole years old. Why does that sound so old to me? You've only been here on this planet for two years and yet, I feel like it's been so much longer. I have fit more smiles, laughs, tears, hugs and kisses into the last two years than I did in the previous ten all because of you, Johnny.
You make me laugh so hard with your constantly developing vocabulary and grammar skills. You're stringing funny words into sentences that makes me think, "Where did you learn that?" Just yesterday I asked if you wanted to take a bath or a shower and you responded, "No bath. And no shower either." Just like that. Perhaps when you are old enough to read this post, that little response will seem so trivial, but I can tell you that it's huge, considering this time last year you weren't uttering a single intelligible syllable.
You make me want to hug and kiss you (almost) all the time. The way you come out of your room after your nap with sheet marks on one cheek, a dazed smile on your face and Blankee in hand makes me want to swoop you up and kiss you until you giggle uncontrollably. How you say, "Mommy come play you!" when you want me to come upstairs and hang out with you makes my heart melt. And the way you hold my hand when we're in a parking lot or crossing the street makes me feel all gooey inside.
You make me want to cry sometimes, too. Those times when you choose Daddy or Grandma or Grandpa over me makes my heart break a little, but I've been trying really hard not to let you see it; I certainly don't want to guilt you into choosing me. The rare times when you're trying so hard to get me to understand something and your frustration at me bubbles over into tears makes me feel like an awful mommy. Those times when it's obvious how fast you are growing up and will one day leave me behind to start your own family. Such a sad thought, and yet so happy as well.
Even though I think a lot about your future, it's the present that really matters to me. There are so many things you do that I want to remember, but it's like trying to hold water in your hands as it runs out of a faucet. You do so many new things every day that I forget what you did this morning to make room in my brain for everything you've done this afternoon.
In ten years I want to remember that you have a penchant for whole grain bagels smeared with cream cheese and how you need to have a napkin nearby when you eat them because you hate having wet stuff on your hands.
In ten years I want to remember how you walked like Frankenstein for a few days when I finally got you to wear a pair of shoes with a hard sole on them.
In ten years I want to remember how you enjoyed holding Hank for a couple of seconds and then would push him away from you saying, "Nuff!" after you were over it.
In ten years I want to remember your curiosity when it comes to letters and numbers and how you love this particular part of the "Elmo" DVD where there's a countdown from 10 to 1.
There are all of these little things that make up our days together that are so everyday and normal now, but will eventually become precious if I can manage to hold onto those memories. All I can hope for in the next year is that our days together will be just as full as the last 365 have been.
Johnny, you have made my life so much fuller by being a part of it and I wouldn't trade a single minute from the last two years for anything in the world.
Thank you for being my son, Johnny. Happy 2nd birthday.