Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Terrific Twos

I love birthdays. And I love Gemma. And she has watched as the four of us have celebrated our days, and happily crowed, "Happy to you!" with the rest of us. So I was really excited to go into her room Saturday morning and sing "Happy Birthday to you" to her. She kind of had this big-eyed half-grin look going on like, "Okaaaaay...I appreciate what you're doing but, um, what are you doing?"

Then we brought her downstairs and as her eyes passed over the pink streamers and balloons hanging over the table her breathing quickened. "Oh!" she squeaked. Then her eyes fell upon the stroller sitting on the table and the presents. "OH!" she yelled. She understood completely.

Two years ago, after much labor and much sweat and much effort and no sleep, after my body had passed the figurative 5-mile mark in what I thought would be a 4-mile race, and then kept going, and kept going, and kept going (turns out a marathon is reeeeeeeally long), I was blessed with perhaps the best baby in the whole world. Like her birthday squeaks, I think I had a similar reaction. "Oh!" I just kept saying. (mostly from the oh-I-feel-SO-much-better and oh-it's-a-girl?!)

And like how she admired the beauty of the streamers and the balloons, I admired how something so small and so painful could be so perfect. She clapped at the stroller and I have clapped time and again as she has laughed and learned and gone to sleep effortlessly and said her name. She looked at each wrapped gift and acted surprised and joyful as she daintily pulled back each layer of paper. I have felt like we've been unwrapping her personality for the past two years to see that she loves her family but also her friends, that she loves accessories and Dora and Pablo with an almost unhealthy passion, and that while she is quiet and cuddly, she can be incredibly stubborn, but she also has a sense of humor that balances the frustration.

From her singing songs to playing with her Little People to walking into my room, palms raised, asking, "What doing, Mom?", I love her in a way that makes my eyes water and my stomach tighten and my fingers itch. When she was born, a lovely friend gave me a magnet that sits on my refrigerator. I think of Gemma when I read it, and say a quiet prayer of gratitude that she is mine:
Just when you think you know Love, something little comes along to remind you just how bit it really is.
Happy birthday, ladybug.


laura said...

That picture is so cute I want to cry. Happy Birthday, little G!

Katie Ross said...

Happy Birthday Gemma!

Allison said...

Just catching up now--I love that picture. The look on her face is adorable. Happy birthday, sweet girl!

As a sidenote, where did you get that shirt? Love it!