You are two years old. My mother always tells the story of the day I was born every year and tonight, as I rocked my one year old to sleep for the last time, I told you all about finding out you were Cooper, about waiting for you, about the moment you were finally in my arms.
Me: two years ago I was so tired, in so much pain, so ready to be over pregnancy. Before you I was physically stronger than I am now; two years later, I am more mentally and emotionally strong than I’ve ever been. You’ve shown me how to use emotion and empathy as a powerful source to drive my very existence. I have never been more confident of who I am, nor more apt to question every decision I make. I can not run as fast or bike as long, and my body does all kinds of weird things it never did before. But this body can comfort you when you’re sad, protect you when you’re scared, heal you when you fall, teach you about the world, and show you exactly how much I love you. Which is pretty strong after all.
You: People always ask me who you look more like, who you act more like, your dad or me. And you are unequivocally Cooper. Your personality is unraveling and is this marvel to discover every day. You are so smart- too smart for your own good sometimes. You argue with me over things like wearing shoes and you have way too many opinions for someone who is on their two-eve. You make silly faces to make me laugh, you give the sweetest affection when I least expect it. You tell stories and are testing your imagination, which I’m so excited to see blossom. When I have moments of feeling like the worst mom in the world, you sense it and give me the exact measure of hugs and “mo kisses” and wiping away tears that I need. You are favoring Daddy a bit these days, which brings out equal parts jealousy and beautiful redemption from my heart. This is a hard stage of your life, being a toddler, and I’ve asked so much of you by using these arms to help love another person a few months older, who wants everything you want the moment you want it, and treats you like an older brother. Sharing everything that matters to you in this world is hard and you have tackled it like a champ (most days).
Us: This has been a challenging few months as you explore this new season of life and as I try to understand parenting two kids in my new season of life. Lots of grace has been needed for both of us. But we are a team, and we’re getting through it. I love introducing the world to you and dream about all the things we will learn, the places we will travel, the things we will do. I can’t wait to discover more of who you are, my David Cooper. I miss every moment of the time I can’t get back, of you as a baby, and when you didn’t want to be independent with everything you do. But as much as I miss those moments are as eager as I am to see the next ones. I am so blessed to call you my son. Happy second birthday, sweet boy.