When a child is born, all new mothers are told the famous line, "don't blink, it goes by too fast."
I made a mistake and didn't listen well enough. I have blinked.
Today we celebrate our Naomi Cecilia as she turns three years old. Just yesterday this little blue eyed beauty was 2. Oh, I can tell you all the stories of what have happened in the past 365 days to her, our family and the adventures we have loved but that means first I have to get past the fact that this picture of a little girl on her second birthday is a whole year old. Why did I blink?
As I sit up late at night watching you sleep your last night away as a two year old, I think of who you are and just who you are becoming. You are my shy in public, but oh so bold in private, little girl. Give you a setting you are comfortable in (home, library, church and children's museum) and you don't stop talking. You love to tell stories. And we must note the Levison blood in you. You my girl talk with your hands. Big, wide and exaggerated gestures come out. It is something, that when you really get going - as is often the case at the dinner table, that makes everyone else stop and stare. Your stories and hand motions can stop a crowd!
Your favorite, and always present, companions are baby Laura and panda bear. Both are loved to the point of needing baths weekly, if not more often. They are referred to as part of the family and nobody better dispute that! Because at the end of the day you are a snuggler. You are the one that is most often going to climb in my lap and get hugged, as you hug a baby you love. And as much as you love baby Laura, you adore your soon to be here baby brother. Every meal you pray for baby Zachary and for all the things you are going to show him and teach him. You love being the baby of the family right now but being the big sister is a role you are more than ready to step into.
Books are a major part of each of your days. Add in puzzles and you are happy. You love characters that you see. Dora, minnie mouse, doc McStuffin, and more. It is amazing to me that for a child who is exposed very little to this world you have soaked it up. With that, you love to sing. Of all three of you, you sing the most! You will often break into song about Dora's backpack, Doc McStuffin's clinic, and more. In addition you sing I am a little tea pot and more nursery rhyme songs all day long. You are my only child who likes to be sung to as you fall asleep.
You are crazy about your brother and sister. How you love them but on the other hand, won't conform to them. Abigail loves to be the boss and it is very hard on her because you refused to be bossed around. Oh, you do love to play Mama, daddy and baby (where you are the baby) but in terms to always following Abigail's lead, as Ethan is inclined to do, you resist. You are more then happy to go off and play solo rather than be bossed. But at the end of every day you are heard talking about your "best brother and best sister and how you just love this whole family!"
This picture is one of my favorites from this past year. It shows you so well. You are the smallest but boy do you have the biggest personality. Upon one of her visits, my mother commented that you are the most likely candidate to influence the attitude of the room. It is true. If you are happy, the room is relatively happy. Yet you have such a strong force that if you are upset, well we all find it hard to get past. Being two certainly played a part in that but there is no denying it, you are a persistent and strong willed little girl.
And when it comes to who you love in your world, you daddy pretty much tops the list. The two of you have a very special bond that I pray will hold true your whole life.
This year we confirmed that you have thalessemea, which doesn't change our lives but does help us feel more relaxed at any required iron checks that come back low. Yesterday you weighed in at 30lbs 13 oz and 2.9 feet tall. Your growth is perfect. How thankful we are that you are healthy.
It takes very little effort for you to make us laugh. As mentioned earlier, you have a way of telling very tall tales. They are always your original thoughts as well. Your imagination is one that I wish I could bottle up and give back to you a little more each year as you grow to realize the world's limitations! As a third born you are tough and are ready to make your presence known outside of your siblings' shadows. It has often been remarked over the past year that you seem older than 2. With two big kids to chase after it is true. You can count, know colors, letters, sing, assemble puzzles, use scissors, paint and more. The results have always been that of a two year old but your ability to master these things comes from a lot of exposure to your sister's class work and your brother's play.
Your second year has brought a lot of challenges as we figure out the role of child to parent and the determination that goes with that. As we have neared the age of three your tantrums have mellowed and I pray they will continue to dissipate as you grow up this year. Yet on the other hand I pray for the carefree, imagination, joy and laughter of your childhood holds strong. I pray for the days ahead, for the girl you are now and the women you will be, for your health, and for you to know that each and everyday of your life - You are loved!