To my daughter on her second birthday

To my daughter on her second birthday,

And like that, she’s two

I packed up your high chair the other day, you no longer use it. These days you insist on sitting in a chair at the table, just like your big sister. You’ve become her twin, her shadow, over the past few months. There is no where she goes, that you do not follow. It can be both adorable and frustrating as I try to keep you both in line.

I packed up your high chair the other day, you’re growing up too fast. The bibs you once wore at every meal have all been cleaned and passed down to your cousins, there’s no getting you to wear one anymore. You have a mind of your own, and you speak it loudly. “Me do it.” Has become your mantra.

I packed up your high chair the other day, you hugged my leg before I took it down the basement, then you quickly ran off to play in the other room. Just a few short months ago you would have clung, crying as soon as I tried to go down those steps, as soon as I would out of sight. But now you happily run away, giggling. You go off to play with your sister, or to play with your baby dolls, to color.

I packed up your high chair the other day, you’re more interested in using your toy-sized ones to feed your babies and stuffed animals. You love to spoon fake food into their mouths, or offer them bottles, especially if your sister was already there first. The two of you together, the perfect pair. I’m so lucky to have you both, but not as lucky as you’ll be to have one another.

I packed up your high chair the other day, it’s the first time in more than four years that our home has been without one. The empty spot where it used to stand screams at me that there are no more babies in this house. You’re not a baby, you’re two. And you’re growing, and learning, and becoming this whole new person right before my eyes.  

I packed up your high chair the other day, along with your baby toys, and all the clothes you’ve outgrown over the past year. I packed them all up even though it seems like only yesterday you still needed it all. Time is moving faster with you than it did with your sister. Maybe it’s because I know what comes next, that the other day it was packing up your high chair but tomorrow we’ll be signing you up for school. Tomorrow you’ll be talking more clearly, running further, and playing longer. Each new day moving you further away from the little girl who used to cling to my legs if I went as far away as the basement.

I packed up your high chair the other day, my big girl, because you don’t need it anymore. Every day you grow bigger, stronger, and further away from the little baby it seemed like you’d always be.

I love you.

Happy birthday.

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