Judah, how old are you? Two!
This is a conversation we’ve been having with Judah several times a day for the past few days. We never taught him how to say “one,” and haven’t told him to hold up fingers and say “this many,” either. He’s ready to say it, and he says it proudly!
So now is the part of that situation where I stop to wonder at how I have two babies, and how one of them is already 2 years old! People probably always say this about their kids growing up, but it feels at the same time like the shortest and longest years of my life. I can’t believe it has only been two, because it feels like Judah has been part of of my life, and our family, forever. It’s one of the reasons I can’t wrap my mind around the grief a parent must experience at losing a child. Once they’re here, it’s like they always have been, and I can’t picture my life without picturing my Judah. But then, it’s also crazy because I remember his birth like it is a current event. I remember the whole appointment before I was induced, the long day in the hospital watching a monitor as I went into labor, watching a mirror as I pushed a baby out of my body. There are so few days that I can remember more than a few moments of here and there, but that day is recorded in video form in my memory. I can rewind and fast forward, pause and stare at the way my life as I knew it dropped dead and I was reborn a mother.
Judah, I loved you when you were growing inside me, and I loved imagining how you were going to be. Would you have brown eyes like your Dad, or green like me? Would you be a big smiler, shouter, fast walker, big eater, dancer, like chocolate? But seeing who you actually are, watching you grow and demonstrate your personality, put words to your thoughts, is better than I ever imagined.
This past year of your life has been immense. One year ago today, we had a big party in our new backyard. You wore a shirt that said “Happy birthday to me,” and didn’t know how to walk yet. A week later, you took your first steps. Carefully, because that’s how you are. Now you can hop hop hop like a frog, and jump into swimming pools. You are careful, but not afraid. You are kind, but know what you want and are good at getting it. I love how you figure out problems, like how to switch on the lights when you can’t quite reach, or how to get to the iPad when I’ve put it on a high counter. I love how much you love your car seat, because it means we’re going somewhere. And you don’t even care where–you’re ready to go! (I’m like that too.) I love how patient you are, how you share with your sister, how quick you are to say “sorry.” You say 150 words, and ten of them are: thank you, pray, please, I love you, Mom, Daddy, Sister. I love that about you.
You are a treasure, Judah, and I am so proud of who you are. I love that I get to be your mom. I love that I spend my days with you. Happy birthday, big boy. But please stay little for a long time!