“I’m not baby. I Brynn!” This was your response to me the other day, and has been many times since then when I said “Here ya go Baby” and handed you your Minnie Mouse sippy cup. Your little toddler face all scrunched up in that already perfected “Come on Mom” exasperated look. Not baby?? But you are my Baby Brynn! Of course you aren’t the only one. I also have been hearing “You know, you don’t have a baby anymore. Brynn is a full on child.” And I look at you, my sweet little 2 year old, and I see what they are saying- physically I see a tall, thinned out kid who runs and jumps and tries to sing the ABC’s and speaks in little sentences and wants her full head of curly hair done like Poppy’s from Trolls. My eyes see it. Yet…. Not my baby??
Last night you patted my tummy and said “Baby in Mama’s belly” and gave your little sibling a “baby kiss” (as opposed to a “big kiss”) and I wondered if that is where the “I’m not baby” is coming from. Do you think there can only be one Mama’s baby at a time? I often wonder the same thing little love. After having you, I was terrified of having another kid because I didn’t think I could love another little person as much as I do you. And now that I am pregnant, I love the little baby growing in my belly, but it is still hard for me to comprehend how my little Mama heart is going to multiply once again so it can live outside my body in yet another little human. Because that’s what happens you know. My heart didn’t just expand to hold more love for you, my little Brynn, it multiplied and then when you entered the world, you took that heart with you into the world. Everytime you get sick, my heart hurts; everytime you cry “Mama!” in the night, my heart hears it and wants to go to you, even if I know you are just trying to get my attention; everytime I see you being big and brave and daring, my heart skips a beat thinking about you falling; everytime you ask Dada if he is ok when he coughs, my heart swells; all those things and more sweet girl- because you carry my heart around with you everywhere you go. And I guess your sibling will too come June.
But they won’t take that heart from you Baby Girl.
That heart you took from me on November 8, 2015 that made you my baby- you keep that forever. When the new baby comes and our attention gets pulled from you- you’ll still be my baby. And when you start Kindergarten and probably won’t bat an eye going to your new classroom- you’ll still be my baby. And when you don’t want Dada and I to read you books, because you can read them yourself- you’ll still be my baby. When you decide your friends are cooler than your parents and want to hang out with them instead of us- you’ll still be my baby. When you get in trouble at school for talking too much- you’ll still be my baby. When your attitude blossoms along with your body into teenagehood- you’ll still be my baby. When you graduate high school and move away to college- you’ll still be my baby. When you get married and start a family of your own- you’ll still by my baby. And when I’m old and grey and you are not so young yourself- my baby still you will be.
And that’s the thing I’m learning, little big one, that no matter how old you get, or how many siblings you have, you will always be my sweet sweet Baby Brynn.
I dropped you off at daycare this morning and your teacher said “She looks so cute today!” and she was right, I dressed you up extra cute today and told her why; “It’s her birthday today!” She said , “Aww, how old is she turning? One?” I confirmed, and she said “Really? I thought she’s been one for a long time now?!” I smiled and nodded because you’ve been surprising us from the start.
You surprised me when you made two little lines appear on the stick. You surprised me every time you kicked me from the inside of my body. You surprised me when you didn’t want to come out. You surprised me when you came out and were almost 10lbs. You surprised me when you instantly became my second favorite human on this earth. You surprised Dada and I when you started smiling at us at four weeks old (no one believed us until they saw it for themselves). You surprised us when you shot pee at our faces during your first few days of life. You surprised us when you got sick and we had to take you to the ER. You surprised us at how scared we got. You surprised us when you started rolling over. You surprised us when you started sitting on your own. You surprised us when you started pulling up on things when you were 6.5months old. You surprised us when you started standing on your own at 8months old. You surprised us when you started walking at 9months old. You surprised us when we went on a 18hr car ride and you barely cried at all. You surprised us when you started pointing at things and making noises that sounded like questions. You surprised us when you started saying “mama” and “dada.” You surprised us when we said “go get your shoes” and you walked over to the shoe rack and brought us your shoes. You surprised us when you pointed at the ball and said “ba?” You surprise us when you hear an airplane, you look towards the sky pointing until you can see it and you squawk in delight until it is out of view. You surprise us with your enthusiasm for trees. You surprise us with you constant giggles and cackling. You surprise us when you give us kisses. You surprise me when I pick you up from daycare and you squeal and run to me with your little arms reaching up for me. You surprise us when you run and you are only 12 months old. You surprise us when we are putting your clothes on and you know when to switch your bottle from one hand to the other so we can pull your arm through the armholes of your shirt. You surprised us when daycare told us twice they had to move you up to the older classroom because you were trampling the other kids your age. You surprise us with the size and potency of your diapers. You surprise me every morning when I realize I can’t wait to go to your room and get you up for the day. You surprise me when Dada and I say to each other at night after you’ve gone to bed “I miss Brynn, let’s go wake her up to play with her!” You surprise me that I’m afraid to have another kid because I’m afraid there is no way I could love anyone else this much. You surprise me with your extroversion. You surprise us when you get delirious when you stay up past your bed time. You surprise me with your love of people. You surprise me with your wonder and awe at everything you see.
On this day that you will read about in your textbook as not one of the better moments in America’s history, I say this to you my daughter:
Keep surprising people. Not with the fact that you learned to walk early or with the success I’m sure you will have in school. Those things are great, but this world has lots of early walkers and good students. What this world needs to be surprised with is your joy. Keep surprising people with your genuine, indiscriminating love of people and love to be around people. Keep surprising people with your excitement over things the world deems mundane. Keep surprising people with your ability to make people laugh in spite of, or despite, themselves. Keep surprising people with how much you make them care. Keep surprising people with your squeals of delight and screeches of endearment. Keep surprising people with your refusal to give in to the darkness that permeates our world. Keep surprising people with your curiosity and desire to learn. Keep surprising people with kindness. Surprise people with your ability to love people with differing views. Surprise people with your empathy. Surprise people with your desire to seek out truth. Surprise people with your selflessness. Surprise people with caring less about creations than their creators. Surprise people by standing up for those that get discriminated against. Surprise people with your confidence in yourself. Surprise people with your lack of bitterness in such a bitter world and time. Surprise people with peace in discouraging times. Surprise people by advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves. Surprise people with grace in ungraceful situations. Surprise people with enough independence to admit your dependence. Surprise people with strength of character. Surprise people with your lack of hate in a hate saturated society. Surprise people with humility. Surprise people with comfort when they are hurting. Surprise people with love.
Because baby girl, this world needs to be surprised and you’ve been surprising us from the start. Don’t stop now.
Happy happy 1st birthday my sweet baby Brynn.
Mama loves you.
“You are protected, in short, by your ability to love.” -Albus Dumbledore