Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Second Birthday Little Man

Dear Best Little Boy,

What a wild roller coaster of a ride your last year has been. We have seen some terrifically high highs and some terribly low lows, but it has been a year of learning, of new adventures, new paths, and celebrations. We have dealt with intensive feeding therapy, dental surgery, speech, OT / PT / ABA / developmental pediatricians and diagnoses. We have learned about therapies and procedures and interventions we had never heard of before this year. We have learned to navigate the 'system', to advocate for you, to support you.

We have fretted and worried and cheered and celebrated. You have taught us to appreciate the little milestones - the next words, accepting food, the first initiated hug, the development of preferences and favorites. You have taught us that sometimes development happens seamlessly and naturally, and sometimes it needs a little coaxing and encouraging and that's okay. There is no one right or acceptable path of development, and each child is different, has strengths and challenges, but is unique and wonderful in his or her own right.

You have taught us that despite the stress, the anxiety, the worry, that in fact, this too shall pass. You have opened our eyes to a world of firetrucks and dogs, of Elmo, Cookie Monster and balls and wheels. You love animals and babies. You have shown us that little boys can have some sweet dancing moves. You have reminded us to appreciate the simple things in life like ice cream, and watermelon and even simple physics. Yes, gravity does work, and it is pretty cool, and I understand why you feel compelled to drop things over the banister again, and again, and again and again...

You have taught us that you should be your own best cheerleader - with so many people working with you and helping you, every time you accomplish anything you holler, "YAY! HURRAY! WOO!" If you have no cheering squad, be you own!

You have helped me laugh at my pre-you self, where I thought I had things to worry about, but also reminded me that there are others with far more significant worries than my own. You have astounded us all with your remarkable growth, and your knack for noticing everything and appreciating your world with wonder.

You are spunky and opinionated (your favorite words are 'no' and 'mine'). You love your sister, but equally love your personal space and have a jealous streak. You love anything that rolls or makes noise or lights up. You have a contagious giggle and a smile that lights up a room. You adore your Mama and your Daddy and you have 'Mayor of Brooklyn' qualities, much like your sister before you. As we go down the street, you wave to everyone and say "Hi. How are you?"

You are not only walking but running. You want to run EVERYWHERE. 'Enne! Enne' is your cry as you take off down the sidewalk. Like your sister as well, you can't pronounce the German 'R' yet, so rather than 'Renne Renne' you run run without the r.

You have FINALLY found a lovey, and attached to a scruffy little cat stuffed animal that you call 'kitty kitty' and you like to take her everywhere. You love pizza and rice but still aren't a terrific eater but you are EATING, and that is something we couldn't say a year ago. You actually ATE your birthday cupcake.

Despite the challenges of the past year and the paces you have put us through, we can't imagine our family without you. You complete our family, fill our hearts and our home with love and energy. You amaze us with your growth and your learning and your perseverance. We are cheering you on little man, watching you with joy and pride, and anticipating more wonderful things to come as we look forward to the next year. We can't wait to see what you have in store this year!

We love you our best boy,