To Gwen, now that you are two.
I just tucked you into bed for an early nap before we head off to your two year wellness-check at the doctor's. You were surprisingly willing to go, perhaps worn out by the impressive fit you threw when I wouldn't let you take your Hello Kitty lunchbox inside when we dropped Espen off at school. You know what you want, and you know what you don't want, and nobody knows their own mind like you do!
The more we get to know you, the more sure I am that it is a beautiful mind you've got in there. A mind that loves music and books and dancing. A mind that is always exploring and doesn't miss anything in your surroundings. If something is new or different, you are the first to notice, and if something is not done according to protocol, you will let us know!
You don't just have a beautiful mind, you have also been blessed with good heart. As feisty as you can be, there is a genuine kindness and concern for others in you. If someone is unhappy, you drop everything to run over and declare: "is sad!" before patting them lovingly on whatever part of them you can reach. You weren't very old the first time you climbed onto the naughty step beside Espen to cry with him, even though you weren't the one who was in trouble! You just couldn't bear to see him be sad. You are always happy to give kisses (except when you withhold them to make a point!) and have recently started spontaneously hugging our legs and snuggling close when you feel the need. You always have to hug and kiss Espen at bedtime, and orchestrate Daddy's goodbye kisses in the morning.
You love your family so much! Espen is your best friend, hero and role model. If he does something, there you will be, two steps behind, doing it too. Your biggest source of frustration is when we won't let you do something that Espen can do, like play outside on your own, color with markers, use scissors or play with Espen's Legos. You just cannot fathom why we would do anything so unfair to us, and you let us know how you feel about it too! A lot of the time he will stick up for you and declare "She doesn't want to eat that!" or "Gwen is not tired, she wants to stay up and play with me!" The two of you are so in cahoots with each other that I never know what mischief you're going to come up with next. But when I see you playing and laughing and just being so happy together, I don't mind too much the trail of destruction you leave in your wake. I pray and hope with all my heart that the friendship and closeness you two share will last a lifetime.
As much as you love Espen, it is your Daddy who you really think has really hung the moon and the stars just for you. You ask for him all day long when he's at work, and every time my phone makes a sound you ask "Daddy?" As soon as we hear the garage door open, you race off to meet him with shrieks and squeals of "Daddy! Daaaaaaad!"before flinging yourself into his arms. You are never sadder than when your Daddy tells you you've done something wrong, and never happier than when you get him all to yourself.
And me? Well, I'm your Mama. I'm the source of food and safety and comfort. I'm who you want when you're hurt or sad or scared. I'm who you call for when you wake up in the night, and who you run to to show off your latest creation in playroom couture. I find your babies when they're missing, and know that the episodes of Blue's Clues where Blue is a puppet rather than a cartoon make you cry. You get absolutely furiously angry with me when I stop you from doing whatever death defying stunt you're aiming for next, and yet I'm the one you want comfort from in your rage.
We have fun together, you and me. Even grocery shopping is fun with an enthusiastic little person with a zest for life like you. We head into the clothes section at Target and try on all the hats, laughing and taking pictures. Sometimes I think that people must think I'm a loon, laughing and chatting with my baby, but then I mostly just feel sad for them for not having someone like to shop with. You love going out and about, and take on the world with such great passion and confidence. I am constantly awed and delighted by the fantastic little person you are turning out to be. Thank you for all that you teach me. Thank you for being you. Thank you for letting me be your mama.
I love you so,