Back in February, when I was pregnant with Oliver, I started writing "Dear Baby" letters to him. Although I stopped writing them after my miscarriage, it has occurred to me several times since then that I still have a baby to whom I can write letters. And so, this post begins letters to my daughter, which I have decided to call "Dear Doodlebug."
As I write this, you are almost two years old. Although we knew you would dramatically alter our lives, we really had no idea how much. This time last year we were preparing ourselves to take you in for open-heart surgery. We were definitely not expecting that. Thankfully, everything went well and I am excitedly planning your birthday party. Although you probably won't ever remember it, it means so much to me because it is your first birthday not in a hospital. Truly something to celebrate!
You like to throw us curve balls a lot. You also like to throw tantrums a lot. You are strong-willed and independent and have been most, if not all, of your life. I find it's getting harder to look at that pouty lower lip and not just grin back at you because you look so darn cute. I am, however, pleased that you are learning how to throw your arms around in frustration without hitting anyone. When you get more verbal, I will try to teach you better ways to deal with your anger and to calm yourself down.
Just so you know, I wasn't very good at this either. In this respect, you are a mini-me. I threw some great tantrums in my day. Luckily, I finally grew out of them, but I know I gave your grandparents a run for their money. Your Grandma was very good at rubbing my back while I yelled myself out. It was the only thing that worked. Your daddy and I have used that trick with you a lot--especially when you were younger and more amenable to being snuggled. But you laughter, smiles, giggles, and full-tilt running hugs more than make up for the tantrums. You are amazing and wonderful and complicated. And you are perfect just the way you are. We love the you that you were, the you that you are, and the you that you are becoming. We feel privileged that you picked us to be your parents and we'll do our best not to screw you up too badly.