To Benjamin on His Second Birthday

Ben and Leah

Today is the Saturday before you turn 2 years old. Do you have any idea how much you have accomplished since you were born in 2010? When I met you in person, you were a mere 7.5 pounds. I think the first parts of my body you ever saw were my eyes; and I’ll never forget the moment that I saw you see them. You made everything brighter, better. You made me love everyone I already loved a whole lot more, and even made me love people I had never loved before. You made your father cry the proudest tears ever produced. And now that you are about to turn two, I can honestly say I have never adored any child the way that I adore you.

Your father and I have watched in utter amazement, cameras poised, as you grinned your first grin, laughed your first laugh, crawled backwards and then forwards, touched sand for the first time (and hated it), drank your first sip of coke (and hated it), stepped your first steps, rode your first Disney ride (and loved it), and said your first word (cat). No matter how many people are in a room, if you’re in it, my eyes are transfixed on you. The personality that has sprouted out of your ridiculously and awesomely blonde self has been my great pleasure to behold. I’m addicted to you, you terrible, wonderful little imp!

You have exceeded expectation after expectation. Everyone said you were too young to potty train…then you yelled “potty!” at me from your bedroom at 17 months old, and proceeded to use the toilet. Everyone said you would act out jealously when your little brother arrived; but you kissed him, patted him, and said “I love you”. The pediatrician marveled at you during your 18-month appointment because you were speaking and making connections beyond your age group. You are such a knowledge-gathering sponge that I’ve had to stop cursing around. You are amazing.

Today, we took you to get your second real haircut ever. You were playing with a train table while we waited for your name to be called. I’ve never seen a toddler so ecstatic about a magnetic train in all my life. You couldn’t stop laughing and yelling “Train! Train! Choo-choo!” The two other waiting couples stared at you with huge smiles as they held their mind-numbingly boring children in their laps. I was so proud of you.

Benjamin, I parent you as best I can – but I cannot even begin to take credit for the loving, cheerful, clever toddler that you have become. You have surpassed my wildest dreams. I love you and love you, little Pookie.