For a while, I thought that the letter I wrote you last year was just going to be a one-time thing, but here we are, a year later and I feel like I have to get these thoughts out somewhere. I think I'm going to make these letters a yearly tradition, seeing as I'm the one most interested in commemorating your life as we watch you grow.
Today, you turn two years old. ETA 3/7: You are 26 pounds and 32 inches! Tiny thing. I know I seem to be bursting with clichés when it comes to you, but it honestly does feel like you just turned one. Part of me hates that I miss out on so much of your life when I'm at school, but part of me just doesn't care because I am so proud and honored to be in your life at all, to be your Auntie Mal. It's been seven weeks since the start of the semester, and seven weeks since the last time I was home to see you, and I am so amazed at all that you learned when I was away.
You're so smart. You took a long time to start talking much, but in the last few months, your vocabulary has exploded. I love hearing your cute little voice say "please" and "thank you." Just tonight, we were sitting watching one of your favorite cartoons, Team Umizoomi, and when they asked which tunnels they should take to make it out of the maze, you knew the answers! I didn't even know you knew the word "middle," let alone how to deduce that the middle tunnel led to the rest of the maze!
You're sweet. Nothing melts my heart the way getting a hug and a kiss from you does. When you got home on Friday, hearing you squeal as you ran across the garage to see me made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. It's not just me, though, or even just the family. You're the same way with all of your friends at daycare. I hope you never lose this part of your personality. I hope God uses you to be a friend to the people who may not have many friends in their lives.
You're always happy. Even when you're sick, you're giggly and goofy and still so sweet. You usually start fussing when you're hungry or tired, but all it takes is someone tickling your belly to make you smile and laugh. Sometimes I feel like your mom doesn't even realize how good she has it with you. Yes, you have your typical stubborn moments, but you come from a family full of incredibly stubborn people. Still, you're very cooperative. You go to bed basically without a whimper, which is a lot for someone your age. I hope you stay this happy as you get older. I know life will get way more complicated, but if you can keep a positive attitude, everything will be way easier. I promise.
Our family isn't always the easiest one to be a part of, but never forget this: You are so very loved. By me, by your Mimi. You have taught me a whole new kind of love. I've realized in the past year that as much as my career dreams and hopes for my future mean to me, I would give up everything in a second to take care of you if it meant that I knew you were safe. Knowing how much I love you right now, I can't imagine how I will feel about my own children. Don't you worry, though, my boy, I will always be here for you. Always. I don't care what my relationship with your mom is, I will be here if you need a soft spot to fall with someone who loves you without condition. No one can replace you in my life.
Here's to the year ahead.
Keep dancing, Blake, and don't ever stop.
I love you.
P.S. You know how I said you were stubborn? Here's photographic proof. The first two were from dinner last night with the whole family, and the rest are from tonight when all I wanted was to get a picture of you for your birthday. I should've known it wouldn't be that easy.