To Afton on Her 2nd Birthday

I remember when I was little feeling disappointed that I didn't feel extra grown up on my birthdays. Thirteen didn't feel that different from 12 years + 364 days, ya know? I didn't wake up on my birthday feeling magically wiser and older than when I went to sleep.

Newborn Afton

This is not the case as a mom. I put my one year old to bed for the last time last night; this morning she woke up a 2 year old, and everything is different! How is she so much taller and wiser and more beautiful and stronger and smarter than she was just yesterday? How did my baby grow up over night? It's killing me.

It's a mystery, I guess. Regardless, here is a letter to my firstborn on her 2nd birthday.

My Sweet Afton,

I don't know how it happened, but, in the blink of an eye, you're two. And despite your best efforts, too! For the last several months, whenever we mentioned your upcoming birthday, you would always solemnly shake your head no and say, "No. No turn 2. Attin stay 1." Nevertheless, the day has come. You've left 1 behind and are, as usual, running full speed ahead into 2.

That's just how you do life: at full speed. Nothing by halves. You throw caution to the wind and jump in with both feet, enthusiastically trying new things and accomplishing daring stunts. Keeping you safe is a full time job, my fearless girl! 

You always have a laugh ready in all situations. You tell some of the best jokes and always laugh at mine. You're fun and can make anything a game. You sing constantly and have quite the repertoire of favorites. You're smart; you talk in full sentences and narrate life as you see it, letting nothing past your curious and observant eyes.

I've learned so much from you: how to be carefree and throw my list away for a minute to just be mommy; you remind me of how much Jesus loves all of us, making sure we put everyone and everything's name into the song Jesus Loves Me every evening at bedtime; you've taught me to count my blessings, and thankfully name them aloud; you've taught me what it means to be a helper with your eagerness to do anything you can to make someone else's load a little lighter like when you insist on using your little wagon to help me carry groceries in from the car. This list could go on all day, and I hope these traits are ones we can develop.

Like all of us, you have your faults, but I hope you know that I count you as one of my absolute greatest blessings. I know that God has great things in store for you. I know that He's going to use you to do great things, too. He already has and is: He used you to make me a Mommy.

So, Afton-girl, know today and everyday that you are precious. You are loved. You make us proud. You are a joy-bringer. You are brave. You are smart. Christ is in you, and, because of that, you can live each day with the promise that, through Him, you can do what He did on the Earth and even greater things. Remain in Him, little daughter, and remember. Remember these words. Remember Whose you are.

And, don't grow up too fast. Don't run off too soon. Stay our little girl for just a while longer.

With all my love,