Well, in the midst of days and nights of busy-ness, laughter and tears, anger and joy, another year has passed, and you are two! Two years old. That seems very small still, in so many ways, and yet, if I look at the baby girl who was just one last year, it’s as if eons have passed.
In the past year, you have gone from uncertain steps, always reaching out for support, to running. You have learned to go up and down stairs (much more rapidly than grownups are comfortable with!). You don’t say so much yet – but we know that even though the words sound very similar, you are talking about Abba (Daddy), Bobbi, Dahab, or bottle, whenever you say something that sounds like ‘baba.’ You use a calculator like a cellphone and say “lallo?” into it, having wonderful conversations with people at the other end.
You don’t say so much, but your understanding is pretty awesome… it’s so funny when your Abba says to you in Hebrew to put something into the garbage, and you know exactly what to do! And of course, you know the same thing in English. It must be hard for you to figure out how to make the words you need to communicate when you’re absorbing two languages, but once you make the connection, the world should just watch out!
You come to synagogue almost every Saturday morning, and although you spend most of that time with other children and not in the sanctuary (it’s a very long service for a small person!), you know that this is a different place. I love that last week, you came running to me, pointing to your head. “Do you want a kippa?” I asked. You nodded eagerly, and ran back to where all the kippot are kept. We picked one out, and pinned it to your curls with 2 bobby pins, and you kept it on all morning. When Michele tried to adjust it while you were upstairs, she said that you wouldn’t let her take it off to fix it!
You know about giving kisses and hugs, and you will probably get tired of hearing that your kisses and hugs are just about the best in the world… but it’s true! They are sweet and true, and everyone who receives them feels honoured by them.
When you were a bit younger, maybe only 6 months ago, you didn’t like it at all when anyone you considered yours left the room. Most of the time, you still don’t, and you let us know that with your angry tears. But more and more, if someone has to leave the room, you follow, waving at them, offering a sweet “Buh-bye!” When I leave the house, and you’re staying behind, you blow kisses through the glass door, which causes me to walk out of the door with a smile every time.
You love singing – your own songs, and being sung to. It doesn’t matter to you if it’s an English song or Hebrew; it doesn’t matter if it’s a nursery rhyme or a prayer. You just like the music. I wonder if, when you’re older, you’ll play a musical instrument?
You like stories, but it’s hard sometimes for you to sit and let a story happen. We read page 1, maybe page 2, and then you’re turning the pages as quickly as you can to get us to the end of the book. But you always bring another book.
Lately, you’ve been playing with crayons in the bathtub, which makes it interesting for the person who follows you in the bathroom! The tub often looks like modern art! And like almost every toddler, you’ve occasionally eatan a crayon or two as well.
You’ve also developed a real liking for the many pillows on my bed… there probably are too many, but that makes it fun for a small person to flop around (supervised!). On rare occasions, if you’ve wakened very late at night when I am also awake, and you’re not able to snuggle yourself back into lseep, I slip into your room and pick you up for a snuggle and a few minutes in your rocking chair. If that doesn’t work, on even more rare occasions, I just bring you into bed with me. All those pillows make a nice barrier between you and the edge of the bed, and you invariably go right back to sleep. You also wake before I do, and it’s very sweet to wake up to your little voice instead of an alarm clock!
You’ve had visitors this year – your Nanny and Grandpa have been to visit, and they are so much in love with you – it’s easy to see that, when we see how they smile just to see you. You dispense your sweetness to them just as generously as you do to people you see every day. I’m sure that Skype has helped that!
When you were one, you were best at receiving love, and we loved loving you. Now that you are two, we still love loving you – but what a wonderful experience it is to be on the receiving end of your own love extended to others!
My wish for you this year, Leah, is that the love that surrounds you this year continues to wrap around you throughout your life. I wish you laughter and joy, and I wish you a life that is as full of wonder every day as your days are wondrous to you today.
Happy, happy birthday, Moo!