Monday, July 14, 2014

Your last night as a two-year-old!

On this, your last night as a two-year-old, there are many things on my mind. I wish we hadn't missed out on so much of your life so far, even while I'm grateful for all the moments of the past 6 months. And I'm even more grateful that we get to spend this birthday with you! Here is a snapshot of life with you:

We love the way you have retained your accent: chicken is "cheek-un," sit down is "seet down," blueberry is "blue-budhee," sorry is "sah-dee," and tomorrow is "too-mahdow."  We are experiencing life in a fresh way as we see new things through your eyes: 4th of July sparklers, watering the garden, petting a dog, splashing in a lake, seeing a turtle, watching the garbage truck -- every little thing is exciting for you.

Since we met you in January, you've grown 2 full inches, and gained nearly 4 pounds (an increase of over 20% of your body weight). You were 21 pounds at your last weight check -- just a pound more than your brothers and sister weighed when they turned one! Your hair is longer, and your curls are extra fluffy in these humid months.

And so much is happening that is invisible. You are learning what a family is, the people who will be your constants.  You fall asleep beside your dad and me, and we are the first thing you see each morning. Your comfort strategies are slowly changing -- when you're overtired, you will occasionally still smack yourself on the head or rub your stomach.  But every day for several months, rubbing your Mama's neck is your biggest comfort.  You've also branched out this month and rubbed your Grandmas' necks, and on one notable occasion, laid between Daddy and me and rubbed both our necks at the same time.

Your first request every day is for "chocolate milk," your weight-gain elixir of whole milk and Carnation Breakfast Essentials. And you need all the fuel you can get!  You are non-stop action, Kavya -- and you are so strong, for someone so tiny! You do pull-ups on any playground bar, table top, or surface within your reach, and you can climb anything with handles and footholds. 

And you are FAST.  The sermon time at church is like an endurance test, as Daddy, me, Aaron, Anya or Nathan (or some combination thereof) chases you through the lobby and up the stairs to the offices.  If other people are sitting in the lobby, they usually spend the whole time chuckling at the way you keep us running. Right now, you can only stay in church during worship.  It is a delight to hold you and sing, and watch you recognize songs.  You know "Mazing Gace" (Amazing Grace) and your favorite is "Boy A Chu" (The Voice of Truth). 

Last week, during Peter's and my "babymoon" vacation with you in Madison, you prayed your first real prayer.  I was awake early with you, and you sat by the window and said, "Dear God, help Rowan, help Grandpa. Amen."  And your amen is always a joyful shout -- it reminds me of how I should pray.

Your favorite books are The Snowy Day, Kipper's Color and Number books, Who's Hiding in the Barnyard, the Priddy-Bicknell Baby book, Elmo's Puppy book and Police book, and the Wiggles song book with buttons you push to play music. You also love to pretend to read the big kids' books.

You love to color, especially tracing your hands.  You also like chalk.  You are a little bit obsessed with your buddies Rowan and Lochlan, and ask daily to see them.  But your absolute favorite thing of all is to be outside:  " 'Side? 'Side?" is a request we hear many, many times each day.  You love to scooter around the block, go for bike or wagon rides, and swing and slide in the backyard.

We will celebrate you tomorrow, and you will join in the tradition of being measured on the morning of you birthday.  As we mark your height next to your brothers' and sister's, we will remember last year's celebration, when we were still waiting for news of your court date in Bangalore.  And our minds and hearts will be full as we remember the young woman who gave you life three years ago.