Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dear Mae Caroline (2)

Dear Mae Caroline,

Happy second birthday to our Mae-Mae. Sweet Baby Mae, a name so fitting of your smiley personality. What a year you have had! Last year this time you weren't quite walking ye, and you were mostly just babbling rather than talking. Now you run full speed ahead and know so many words. You've recently tried to string together small sentences. Your favorite is "chew it up" and "eat eat please" and "go outside please" and "me too" (because you have to do EVERYTHING big sister Evans does)   :)

This year has brought on changes for all of us. Moving cities, yet again, and getting to be back at home. You started going to 2 year old preschool! I'm so glad you love it the way that you do. No tears at drop offs, no clinging to my leg, no separate anxiety. You love life and everyone in it. I'm so proud of you!

I've had a hard time admitting to myself that you are my last baby. The last chubby hands I'll hold, the last baby I'll rock, the last sweet curls I'll twirl through my fingers. Maybe it's because you've been such an easy baby that makes it that much harder. I know that our family is complete, and I know I definitely could not handle the logistics, the time, the total chaos that a third would bring, and yet my heart still aches knowing that you are turning 2. We'll be saying goodbye to diapers, goodbye to the crib, and goodbye to all things baby this year.

I'll have to say goodbye to a part of myself this year as well. For the last 5 years, I've been carrying a growing child or caring for a little one. I've been pregnant or had a baby on my hip all that time. I'm surprised at how hard this stage is to let go.

When I was pregnant, I was counting down the days. When I had a newborn at home, I was counting down the days. When you were crawling, I was counting down the days. Before you started preschool, I was counting down the days.

During one of our many games of hide and seek, Evans is always telling me "Mama, count slower, count slower!" so that she can find you girls the perfect hiding spot to where I won't find you. A place you girls can hunker down and giggle to yourselves, trying hopelessly to remain quiet as the numbers wind down "5-4-3-2..."  

"Mama, count slower!!"

And now, somehow my counting through this busy and difficult baby phase of life is complete.

And I feel like I counted too fast.

I wish so much that I could find a hiding spot to put you and your sister's childhood. A spot to keep your precious giggles. All of your smiles. The moment you were placed on my chest. The moment I heard your first coo. Your first hiccup. Your first yawn. All of it.

I'd count as slow as I possibly could.

And while it's bittersweet, there is something that will never change. You will always be the baby. My baby. Sweet Baby Mae-Mae.

Happy birthday, Mae Caroline!

Mama loves you.


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