My dearest Kinley,
Today you are two. Two! It’s unbelievable to think just two years ago you graced us with your presence. Honestly, I can’t even remember much of life before you because you are my entire life now and I can’t imagine ever being apart from you.
The past year has been crazy for you I can imagine. You have learned SO much, made lots of new friends, we moved to a new house and witnessed your sister’s homecoming. You have dealt with all the changes beautifully and I hope you continue to embrace change for the rest of your life.
You are becoming a little girl. You play pretend, laugh while singing your ABCs, call every color ‘blue’ and you make faces to ham it up and make daddy and I laugh. You love the country song “(Kissed You) Goodnight” and the YouTube video “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” You tell us your best friend is your cousin Owen (and on rare occasions when you want something, mama or daddy). You give daily kisses to your sister…and sometimes other objects to give us a laugh (“kiss pumpkin, dada!”). You go crazy over marshmallows and any “treats.” We can’t even say the word “cupcakes” out loud or else you’ll beg for one.
But, about once a day, you are still my baby. I rock you into a nap – a habit I tried to get out of – but couldn’t…Not because you need me to, but because I enjoy it.
So for 10 minutes each day, we rock without any interruptions. Your body scrunches into my lap, your breaths becoming slower as you fall asleep. I breathe in the sweet smell of your hair and vow to never forget these precious moments. Nearly daily, my eyes well with tears due to the awareness of how fast you’re growing. I apologize in advance for being “that mom” who cries at every school play and dance recital.
Your language development has been astounding. Each day you amaze us with some new word of phrase. Your passion for books and reading is evidently helping. We giggle as you talk in true two-year-old fashion, speaking in third person saying things like “Kinley’s bear. Kinley’s car. Kinley’s blankie.” Some of your other favorite phrases include: “Stop doing that”, “I like it” and “Fix it.” But the biggest heart-melter is how you’ve figured out how to say “love you” and use it in context. When you look me in the eyes and say it, I turn into a little puddle of mush. I hope you continue to keep such intense love for life in your heart as you grow into an adult.
You also are starting to love to say “Mine.” We’re curious to see how that one develops as you and your sister grow, and she starts taking your toys…Speaking of your sister — that has been a truly cool relationship to witness. You love helping me burp her, getting me burp cloths and greeting her in the morning. And even though she’s just two months old, I already see her light up when you enter the room, as if she’s been waiting for you and can’t wait to see what antics you have up your sleeve. Sometimes I fear you two are going to start ganging up on me soon, but at the end of the day, I’m just so happy to already be seeing an immense bond. Please keep it strong.
Watching the joy you have brought to your grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles has been so rewarding, too. You are SO incredibly loved by every single person who encounters you, and each leaves you happier than when they came. You are an abundant ray of sunshine; please keep sharing it with others.
I hope your second year continues to fill you with happiness and that you continue to learn and grow from all the blessings that surround us. Thanks for continuing to show daddy and I how to really live…Through fun, laughter and your zest for life that is absolutely contagious.
Continue being this intelligent, independent and sassy little gal and I have no doubt you will grow with the strength to move mountains!
Love you forever, peanut. Thanks for being the best gift I’ve ever received.
Reflect back: To My Daughter On Her First Birthday