This past weekend our baby girl turned 2 years old! In many ways I have been thinking of her as 2 for the last month or so. In other ways I cannot believe that she is actually two. I have become very lazy about jotting down all of the new things that she has done. At this point they are subtly building and not quite as obvious. I find myself thinking, “I believe she is comprehending more this week than last.” or “She’s putting together more words than she was last week, right?” It blows me away how smart she is and how much she enjoys learning. She knows her alphabet: upper case, lower case & in sign language. She can count to 10 (or more) in four languages: English, French, Spanish & German. (We’ve got to learn Vietnamese numbers!) On Sunday Nick and I were discussing the possibility of taking a walk. Lya was in the room and when Nick said to me, “You can wear the pack,” Lya responded, “No pack. Walk.” We looked at her and said, “Okay.” She quickly revised her answer to “Stroller.” I asked her, “Do you want to walk or ride in the stroller?” She thought for a few moments and then answered (with a definitive nod), “Stroller.” It was a great reminder how much she follows and understands our conversations.
On Saturday, the day before her birthday, we had a mini-party for her. Our local family joined us for a Vietnamese-inspired meal & some birthday cake. Sometimes in the middle of this never-ending-snowy-winter-that-leaves-me-feeling-isolated I have forgotten that for the first time in our married lives, we live near family. I really treasure that Lya is able to grow up near some of our family, even though many are still so far away.
Last night as I rocked Lya to sleep, I thought a lot about her birth mother. These days must be so emotional for her. Whether she fully embraces the memories or tries hard to distract herself, I have to think that her body still knows. I feel so much sadness for her, her loss and decisions that were made. I am so sad that she cannot see this amazing little girl grow up and I can’t help but see her as an incredible woman, as well. While I cannot know, I imagine that Lya’s joy for life and desire to learn came from her mother. Maybe her father, too. I hope that somehow she can have a sense of how much love we have for her and her child.