Two years since a very nervous me got ready to go to my doctor's appointment, my hospital bag all packed, after waiting anxiously all weekend and half of the week for you to arrive, and you showing no sign of wanting to come out.
That day everything happened so quickly. At 3.30 in the afternoon you were passed to me, tiny and pink, and I held you briefly and kissed your head before you were whisked away to be washed and weighed and all the rest of it. I hardly knew what to do, still lying on the operating table, woozy and unbelieving; not really comprehending yet that after months of carrying you around inside me you were now here in the world, no longer physically a part of me but a person in your own right. Although totally dependent on us still, you were so much stronger than your fragile appearance suggested.
It took time to get to know you, just as it took time to learn how to feed you, burp you, bathe you, change your nappy, get you dressed and undressed, cut your nails and gradually learn how to be your mother. There were many times when I felt that I had no idea what I was doing (and there still are, I've just got used to it!), but you made it easy for me. You were (and still are) very healthy, you were a good sleeper, from quite early on letting me get a reasonable night's sleep and you didn't cry a lot - always for a clear reason with an easy solution. I'm very lucky, I know and I'm grateful for that.
You've grown into a toddler with a personality all of your own. Of course willful, rarely able to stay still for more than a few seconds, mischievous and wanting to play with everything you're not supposed to - especially if there's water involved. But you're also loving and affectionate, caring, generous and helpful (you love to "help" with the cleaning, mopping and sweeping!). You're able to entertain yourself with the simplest things and just be happy, you get all excited and start running around for no apparent reason, just for the fun of it, and you can start singing or dancing spontaneously. I love how I can make you laugh with the silliest little things. You amaze me with your language ability, every day you're able to communicate more and you're learning new words, phrases and expressions in two languages.
For the past few weeks I've already started thinking of you as a two-year-old, and now you are. As you continue to grow, I hope you hold onto your capacity for happiness and the ability to just enjoy the moment you're in. Of course, I hope you stay healthy and strong, both physically and emotionally, and you don't decide to blame your parents for all your misfortunes. You can't avoid problems altogether, but hopefully you'll always have the wisdom and strength to be able to solve them for yourself. I hope you don't have any regrets, and have the courage to go after your dreams without compromising what you believe in. I hope you become more open-minded about food and learn to love lentils, beans and vegetables! Finally, I hope you won't feel embarrassed about speaking English with your mum when everyone else is speaking Spanish. I hope you grow up to be proud of your double heritage.
Oh, and I hope potty training doesn't turn out to be too traumatic, for both of our sakes!
I love those moments when we're just having fun together, laughing over silly things, our own made-up jokes, having a little conversation and understanding each other. I hope we can always share those moments, more of them; different as you grow up, I'm sure, but never losing them. Those moments are pure happiness and love.
Happy birthday, Emma!