I can remember phases in my life where two years felt like a lifetime but not these past two years, they’ve been more like a timewarp. Are we sure it’s really been two years?? It’s true, all the things they say: Time flies. Don’t blink. It will go too fast. You’ll miss this when it’s gone…
Where do I begin with you?
It seems like I’ve been pondering that question since before we even met. Back then it was part of this ‘how am I going to love him as much?’ motif laced into my pregnancy. It was a question I asked myself in the mirror, during the long, quiet nights of each trimester and to any other parent of multiples who would listen. It weighed heavy on my mind and made me doubt your timing – our timing. I worried I didn’t have enough space in my heart or in my life.
That was silly of me.
Today, it’s a question I ponder jubilantly with absolute fulfillment. It triggers the Hollywood highlight reel of our relationship. I see glimpses of our brightest moments, I can hear your little voice saying ‘I yuh you, mama’ and ‘You welcome, mama’ and ‘HI, MANNY!’ And tears of happiness well up in my eyes.
I think back to our growing pains, the uncomfortable months-long back-and-forth we endured trying to figure out how we felt about each other. I wish I could go back to that younger woman, already in over her head with a one-year old, and reassure her that one day the obsessing and the mom gushing and the overwhelming love would come, like a tidal wave.
I don’t remember exactly when that day was or how it happened but I remember a series of surreal moments where I couldn’t get enough of you. And then slowly it went from moments to how we were, obsessed with each other. Suddenly, every other word out of your mouth was ‘mama’, you even refused to call your dad anything but ‘Mama’ for months.
That was the best.
‘He is obsessed with you,’ your dad would say. At first I think he said it to make me feel better and more confident about our budding relationship. Eventually though, I could tell he was saying it out of annoyance and frustration, tired of being your second choice. You were hilarious and quirky and vibrant and ornery as could be and I couldn’t have loved you more. At some point in time, my favoritism for your older brother and the 18-month upper hand he had on you had all but dissolved. You two were (and are) so different it’s almost impossible to compare.
If being his mom is ‘Introduction to Momming 101’, being your mom is ‘AP Parenthood (taught in Mandarin)’.
You are fiery and independent, loud and outgoing, stubborn and intelligent and quite possibly the brightest light in our home. You are not easily swayed or easily influenced; I have yet to see you shy away from anything or back down from a challenge. You don’t take anything lightly and hardly ever take anything on the first offer. You know what you want and what you don’t. You’re a morning person, a ray of sunshine when there isn’t one and an extra one when there is. You are funny and caring and bizarre in the best way. You are adventurous and zany and I wouldn’t change anything about you, the timing of you or the timing of us.
I both love and admire you immensely; you are already so much that I am not. Even at two you have such a strong spirit that I *literally* can’t wait to see what you accomplish and who you grow to be.
Happy birthday, buddy. I love you more than you’ll ever know.
Like Mariah sang, you’ll alwaaays be my babyyyyyyyyy.