I love age 2. Exactly where we are right now at 26 months old.
I love my daughter’s laugh, when her heart-shaped mouth blooms into a smile and her head tilts back and she laughs so hard I can see every bright white tooth, rosy apple cheeks pushing her eyes into happy crescents.
I love that she’s able to repeat any word I say: triceratops, guacamole, spectacular. I am in awe of the way she strings words into sentences. I love our conversations.
I love watching her deftly manage a spoon. The way she requests cinnamon for her yogurt. The way she calls it yogurk.
I love watching her climb and navigate obstacles. I love watching her play. Scooping up dirt with her shovel and dumping it into the bucket, and then dumping the bucket out and beginning again. Discovering an old board in the yard that bounces, and balancing her way across.
I love the way she cajoles and charms, especially for breastmilk. She knows that things are changing and I’m not always up for nursing, so she smiles irresistibly and makes an “L” shape with her finger and thumb and says, “Lil bit more milka.”
I love to listen to her count and recite the alphabet.
I love the way she will sometimes call to us the way she hears us call to each other, “Sarah! Chris!” and “hey, babe!”
I love the way she cares for her cats and notices the birds, squirrels, deer, and turkeys. The way she says, “shhh” when we walk by the spot in the woods where the owl lives. The way she shouts, “bald eagle!” The way she collects stones and puts them in her pockets.
I love the way she pretends her doll is crying, and then holds the doll to her chest and sways back and forth humming, hmmm hmmm hmmm. I love the way she makes up stories with her dollhouse people just like I did.
I love that she loves dinosaurs and knows nothing of princesses.
I love watching her delight in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Waving, clapping, running across the green, making friends, holding hands, dancing.
I love the process of learning to sing. The way she asks me to pick her up, hold her hand like a dance partner and twirl around. Then commands, “Sing Down by the Bay, mama!” The way she sometimes repeats the lines and other times sings along with me. The way she tests her voice as it moves from speech to song. It’s one of those unanticipated miracles you stumble upon during parenthood.
There are so many of these little miracles unfolding every instant. I wish I could cast a net big enough to catch them all. I’m sure I will wake up tomorrow with a fresh list.