My baby turned 2 on Friday. Two years old! We had a nice little family dinner, just Dad, Mom and Melody, and we sang her “happy birthday” and she even blew out the candles herself. She is quite the little girl now. Her “big” gift from us was a kitchen – the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen with a microwave, an oven, sink, and faux boxes of cupcake mix. The pots and pans are metal (I don’t dare suggest they are aluminum or stainless steel, lol) and the fruits and vegetables are pre-cut with velcro in the middle so they can be “cut in half” with the little wooden knife. Insanely cute, ridiculously expensive, but she played with it all day and so it’s worth it.
We asked her about the day and what was happening, to which she said “My happy birthday is coming up!” She was so cute about it, so sweet, so intent, that my heart just swelled with joy that this little girl is in my life. Yes, I know, all you parents out there reading have had that same feeling about your child(ren) at some point. But this is MY little girl, and her website, so there.
Even though we cancelled out of Fort Knott’s for imminent rain, it was really a beautiful weekend – crisp but sunny. We went to the park on Sunday so Melody could get out and run. The dogs appreciated it too. The squeels of happiness and laughter cut through the gloom of impending rain like a shining sunbeam.
Monday, Melody and I were home together for the holiday and Melody wanted to play hide and seek. Since it was pouring down rain, I obliged. There was no way I was going out in that rain to find a mall or indoor play place for us to haunt. So, Melody went off to count and I hid behind Dad’s office door. She announced “here I come!” and I held my silence. She ran down the hall past the office door.
“Where’s Mommy?!” she cried and laughed!
I heard her coming back up the hall and heading to the kitchen.
“Where’s Mommy?” she said loudly.
She turned around again and came back down the hall.
“Mommy? Where are you?” she said, and uncertainty had crept into her voice.
My daughter was not sure I was still there, and in my mind I imagined the thoughts racing through her mind, even though they were the thoughts of an adult who is slightly jaded and fearful and not the thoughts of an innocent two-year-old.
“Mommy?” she said again, and her voice had a twinge of fear now.
I couldn’t make her worry. I peeked out from behind the door and whispered “here I am” to her back. She turned to see me, and joy shot to her eyes like an electric charge! She jumped into my arms and we had a hug and a laugh, and we kissed each other’s faces.
With the strength of her grip around my neck, I realized again just how dependent on me and on Dad Melody is. Without us there, what would she do? Who would kiss her neck the way I do or hold her like a baby like Dad does? I felt a deep fear of not being there for her, not seeing her grow up into the amazing woman I know she will be, not meeting the man she falls in love with (and deciding if I like/approve or not), not celebrating her accomplishments with her. I know that I can’t protect her from the big bad world, but I want to keep that uncertainty and fear out of her voice as long as possible. I want her to know that we are always there for her, no matter what.
It was a moment so sweet it broke my heart.