Today is February 13th, a very special day in Ronny’s and my life together. Three years ago today, Maysen made her debut into our world. Who knew then what an amazing, spirited little individual she would be, or just how sappy her mother would become about the passing of (nearly) every day.
As I rocked her to sleep last night, the last night of her being two, I marvelled at how she no longer fits cozily into my lap. Our snuggles are just a little more awkward now that she’s a kid and no longer a little baby. She says the most amazing things to me, every day.
Earlier in the day, she caught me looking at her with a nostalgic sadness on my face and asked me:
“Mommy, what’s wrong? Why are you sad?”
“I’m sad because you’re growing up so quickly. I want you to be my baby forever.”
“But I want to grow up big. I’ll be sad if I don’t get to be a grown-up.”
“Yes, I would be sad, too. But it’s okay for mommies to feel a little sad sometimes when they see how fast their babies grow. It’s a happy sadness.”
“Oh. Well I love you so much.”
“I love you, too, sweetie. More than you’ll ever know.”
“I love you my whole life”
“I love you more than my life, too.”
After such a sweet little conversation, she, of course, turns back into her terrible two-year-old self and wreaks havoc on the house and my sanity. But I can still enjoy those little snippets of time.
And now, she’s three. Just like that. I still can’t even believe I had her in the first place. I still can’t believe that I’m somebody’s mother. TWO somebodies’ mother. It’s amazing how our lives take these turns when we’re not really looking. And how these turns become something amazing.
This morning, after I wished her a happy birthday, we talked about what it means to be three. Now, she’s a big girl, and big girls leave their babies at home.
1. No more bringing Coco and Coco’s Mommy out of the house. (Simply because I’m tired of searching the house while she screams about them.)
2. Now she’s big enough to be my big helper and help me take care of Avery.
3. Now she’s big enough to pick up after herself. Now she can pick up the crayons and toys when I ask rather than throwing a fit and sending us both to tears.
She accepted these new responsibilities gladly, almost with a sense of pride. And for the first time in at least 18 months, we walked out of the house without Coco and without a fight. She didn’t even mention her little lovey.
Yesterday we were able to spend the day as a family, celebrating Maysen’s last day of being two. We hopped in the car and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito where we had a fantastic lunch.
Maysen was so well-behaved that we took her for ice cream. Of course she wanted her favorite: pink ice cream with sprinkles.
We played in a little park by a fountain as we ate, and May had a blast. Making wishes, running around with her daddy, spitting out the sprinkles as it turned out that she really didn’t like them. I held Avery in the Ergo as I watched Maysen in complete fascination and admiration. She ran around, giggling, doing her wiggle butt, playing her favorite game, “you can’t get me,” with her daddy, and of course talking like she’s an adult. I sat there, inhaling the soft scent of Avery’s head, playing with her tiny fingers and toes, and suddenly I felt all weepy. Maysen’s days as a baby are totally gone. She’s only going to get bigger, and I just have to accept that, even though she’ll always be my baby, she’s not a baby anymore. Soon she’ll be a gawky six-year-old.
So of course, then I start thinking about how I need to relish every last minute of Avery’s babyhood, because I’ll blink my eyes and then she’ll be three, too. What will she be like?
I absolutely HATE that I have such a terrible memory. I want to remember these moments so I can savor them for the rest of my life. I want to remember the sensation of Avery’s downy hair against my lips. I want to remember the same experience with Maysen, but I can’t. I know it happened, but the sensation is gone from my consciousness. That’s why I constantly chase my kids around with a camera in their face. Sure, I’m trying to get the cute photos, but I’m also trying to secure the memories, because I know that soon they’ll be gone.
Anyways, we drove back to the beautiful view of the bridge in the Marin Headlands, and then drove down the 1 toward Half Moon Bay, stopping along the way to enjoy the ocean view.
Mom had told me earlier that a guy had dragged a crummy old piano out to the cliffs and had been playing classical music during the sunset. It sounded like the perfect way to wrap up Maysen’s last day as a two-year-old. We drove down to find “the pinano man”, and when we arrived, there was a whole throng of people already enjoying the music.
This sunset music by the pinano man is EXACTLY the kind of thing that I think makes the world go ’round. Maybe I attributed too much to a quirky experience, but I saw this as the most amazing, beautiful experience. Yes, the piano was out of tune, but how often do you get to watch an old guy give an impromptu piano concert on the cliffs? How often do you get to hear a live piano tango as you watch the sun go down?
As I lay in bed this morning, nursing Avery around 6:00am, Maysen quietly padded into the room in her “tricky zipper” jammies, snuggled under the blankets with me, wrapped her arm around my body, then gently touched my cheek and said, “I want to see your face, Mommy.” I turned to look at her, kissed her forehead, and enjoyed a beautiful moment snuggling with my two sleepy angels.
Until Avery pulled Maysen’s hair and all hell broke loose.
Happy Birthday, Meenie. I love you.
And for a reminder, here’s Maysen’s birth story: