This is one of my favorite photos I've taken of Everett:
Just like that, my baby turned two, and he is not so much a baby anymore. For some reason, Everett turning two was really emotional for me in a way that his first birthday wasn't. When he turned one, it was kind of like a victory, like we made it to a year, we (the three of us, together) survived sleep deprivation, feeding struggles, child birth recovery, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, first smiles and giggles, traveling, long car rides, airplane flights, first words- every beautiful and terrifying moment of that first year. We only grew in love and joy and confidence in ourselves as parents and human beings.
The second year was much of the same, new milestones, new ups and downs. Everett has so much more personality now, he is such an explorer, always on the go, up for adventure of any kind. He talks so much. We can now just have regular conversations with him, and we can mostly fully communicate with each other. He has a sense of humor! And on the downside, he has two year old tantrums, and hits and bites us sometimes.
But with the second year of his life, he left behind all signs of being a baby and turned into a real person, and so when his second birthday rolled around, it was like that final crossing over in my mind to boyhood. It sounds silly, but he is no longer my baby, and it breaks my heart a little bit, while simultaneously my heart is overflowing with joy at the person he is becoming. It is amazing and beautiful to experience, but it is also so sad that I will never get to experience a baby Everett again. He will from here on out be a running, talking, exploring Everett, but I am grateful that during those times where he is constantly on the move (which is all the time), he still takes time to stop, run up to me and give me a hug or a kiss, and his mama is still his most favorite person of all. I look forward to embracing all that he is and will become in this next year of his life.
When I think about what I really want you to know at this season of life, I hope that you know that you have brought such an incredible amount of joy to our lives and that you are loved beyond measure. I don't know what path your life will take, but I secretly hope that you will be a parent yourself some day, just so you can understand how amazing it has been to be your parent. It is life changing in the capacity one develops to love another so unconditionally, naturally, deeply, and joyfully, and it is something you can't really know about until you experience it as a parent with your own children.
That is what I want to leave you with as you turn two, just that we love you so incredibly much.
Some highlights from the second year of your life:
- We lived in an apartment in Barcelona for a month right after you turned one.
- Then, we had a five day layover in Istanbul.
- You really started walk on our family reunion vacation to Lawrence Welk on the splash pad at 13 months.
- You went to an in home day care with Miss Leti, whom you loved so much, and your best friend was Gordo (Briggs).
- We went to Yosemite in November and March and you loved the waterfalls and throwing rocks into the river.
- We went to Mammoth in December, but it was a little too cold for you outside.
- In February, we found out we were pregnant with your little brother or sister!
- You have so many words and are talking so much!
- You run everywhere and are constantly on the go.
- You love going to the zoo, the beach, the dinosaur museum, the park, playing in your room, and the backyard with your friends Jemmy and Robin.
- You love playing in water, with balls, cars, trucks, and dinosaurs.
For his second birthday, I made a temporary photo wall display in our home of some of my favorite pictures from his first two years of life, and here is two years worth of Everett: