happy 2nd birthday, blythe.

This past summer, while in Florida, the whole group ventured out to dinner at a restaurant that we had been told was “kid-friendly.” Aside from actually having highchairs, this place was nothing of the sort for kids, and certainly not amenable to satisfy your toddler cravings for movement and new experiences. Needless to say, Blythe, the two of us ended up outside while waiting for the food to arrive, peaceably swinging together on the porch. For a while, you remained surprisingly silent, sitting on your end of the swing, soaking up the last bit of day. I indulged your need for silence, cherishing this rare occurrence. Suddenly, you turned toward me, knees tucked just below your chin, and started talking. I laugh even now remembering your instinctive girly-ness, and how in that moment, although estranged from the normal adult dinner conversation (and barely able to understand yours), I couldn’t have imagined being anywhere else than with you and your girlish chatter and intermittent giggles.

Blythe, you crave adventure and play. From the moment you wake up, you never stop moving (only barely to eat). You don’t simply want to hear a story, you want to be apart of it: engage it; live in it. Life with you is an adventure. I love this about you. So much of who you are and how you are is difficult to capture in words, but it’s appropriate that you’ve recently taken to calling yourself, “spicy.” And that you are, Sweetheart. Even at this young age, you are fearless to express or fight for yourself (or your wants). However, for all of your tenacity of will and force of independence, you love deeply and reveal the kindness and tenderness of your spirit in the most unexpected ways — like when you repeat “e’cuse me, ma-ma” until you have my undivided attention, or how quickly you say “sorry, I-am” or “sorry Boo-ky,” or even your affinity for your “TWO bankies.”

I adore your your light-hearted, frivolous nature, Blythe. I love that you always have a song in your heart — everything from “E-F-G” (what you call the ABCs) to the Star Wars theme to the “cow song” (aka Old McDonald) to Jesus Loves Me — and that you always request me or Daddy to sing over you. At times we’ll catch you dancing through the house, waving your arms and shaking your hips to the music in your head. Although it’s entertaining, and even funny to see, we delight in the freedom and life of your little spirit.  You bring so much vitality to our family, dear one. I love you and bless the Lord for you, Daughter, and today I celebrate you: happy birthday.

Below I included some pictures of your birthday breakfast and pan-“cake.” I especially love the picture of you talking on your new toy cell phone, while simultaneously building blocks: a multi-tasking toddler. Nina and Papa gave you the tutu and ballet slippers, which you kindly refused to take off for the rest of the day, and Kristen and Tito gave you a rocking toy that you wanted to ride even in exhaustion.