Cate {2 Years}



Dear Cate,

Last night, for the final time, I put you to bed as a one-year old.  Every night we never know who you will want to put you to bed and last night you picked me. I was quietly so grateful because I wanted that time with you.  The hurricane of the day seems to all but be still in those quiet minutes.  We went through our familiar routine. We sat down in the glider and you curled up with on my shoulder and I started to sing the A-B-C’s but I couldn’t choke it out as the tears rolled down my cheek.  I sobbed and then cried as you started to sing and I didn’t.  You started singing the A-B-C’s.  My big girl.  So, I sang with you. And I sang with tears like I have many nights before.

I am not sure what provokes the tears. In that moment, I feel so many emotions. Inadequate, scared, proud, full and raw.

Tonight, I put you to bed for the first time as a two year old.  And I was thinking about how big you seem to me all of sudden.  How your hair is long enough to go in a ponytail even though you refuse to let us put it up.  And how every time we leave the house you run to put your shoes on in the mud room and then exclaim, “I did it” with a fierce sense of pride even if they are on the wrong foot.


There so many things I want to remember about you at this age like the way you say “awite” when we ask you to do something or you emphatic “yes” to most of our questions or the way you say “ucky” when you don’t want something on your plate.

I want to remember how much you love to climb, scream, giggle and terrorize your brother. Monkey see monkey do.  You emulate him constantly and to be honest there isn’t a better model.

I want to take a mental picture of the moments when we are so exasperated with you and we want to scream at you but your dad can’t help but smile and laugh because you are exactly what he dreamed for…his little girl.

I love the way you sit in the fridge when you discover grapes and the way you blow bubbles in the bath so you can secretly drink bath water. I want to remember how everything belongs to everyone.  Brady’s milk, Mama’s coffee, Daddy’s juice.

I want to remember the hard stuff too from the past year…the molluscum, the eczema, whooping cough and the sleeping woes that came with each of them.

It’s surreal to think that you weren’t walking on this day last year and now your only mode is fast and faster on your feet. What you lack in pounds you have in personality.  Just yesterday at your party, you exclaimed, “More presents” as you opened your last gift.  You tackle Brady when you give him hugs. And you flail yourself into a pile on the floor when you are told “no”.

I know this growing up thing is what is supposed to happen Cate. But promise me something. Promise me you will stay little.  I say this to you ever single night with the hope that when tough days and tough choices are a part of your life you will remember to stay little.   Stay little and remember the simple things like taking a walk with me on the cool nights when you need your blanket.  Stay little enough to know that the safest most sacred place in this world is with your daddy, brother and I.  I want you to stay little.  Little enough that I am still enough for you.

Stay little my sweet 2 year old,