Tomorrow you turn two.
You are my little one, my constant companion, my sweet guy. Soon you will have journeyed twice around our glorious sun.
Today, I watch you move, jump, and dance. We practice singing “Happy Birthday” in the mirror. I make up words and blow on your belly. Delight fills my soul as you laugh.
Two years ago at this very time, my labor was picking up. I moaned with each contraction. I swayed and cried. I did my best. You were on your way. Was it really two years ago? I would do it all again for you in a heartbeat. I would do it all again and more.
After much ambivalence, I chose to enter motherhood in my late 30’s. Once I found out I was pregnant, I never looked back with doubt or regret. I couldn’t. A profound peace washed through my body upon discovering the news. This peace remains with me as I type these words now.
I know the joy of having a successful career, traveling the world, and meeting extraordinary individuals. Yet, nothing compares to loving you. Your light pierced through any lingering darkness in my soul. I was reborn as I gave birth to you.
Any moment now you will awaken from your nap and call for me. “Mama! Book. Nummies!” you’ll say.
Then, you’ll nurse as I read to you. It’s a gentle way to transition from nap to play. I love breastfeeding. A most tender sweetness fills us both. As a newborn, you slept on my chest and relied on my care for everything. Now, you can open the refrigerator door on your own. I marvel at your growing body. Yes, you love apples, crackers, raisins, and yogurt. Yet, you still love your “nummies.”
I breathe in deeply. Tomorrow, we reach a milestone. I just turned forty but it is your second birthday moves my soul to reverie.
Your birthday reminds me that these days are precious, irreplaceable, and short-lived. You may carry only a few conscious memories of our time together thus far. Yet, all of these days are etched into my heart. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be your mother. It is an honor beyond measure to nurture your unique and beautiful expression in this world.
Time does her dance. It’s relentless, gorgeous, and difficult to keep up. How to be present through so much change? How to fully take in the miracle unfolding around me as I watch you grow?
The truth is that I’ll miss these days of infancy and toddlerdom. One day, I’ll have free time to once again lose myself in projects for hours and hours. Yet, I’ll miss these days where I put aside my own agenda and focus on building block towers or playing trucks with you. I’ll miss our baths together and our joyful bike rides through the park where you point out the colors you see with such exuberance. “Green!” you joyfully shout. Perhaps an expansive field of grass is one of the earth’s great wonders. I’ll miss you running to me shouting, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” every time you find something really cool to share. It may be a worm on the sidewalk or a lizard crawling up the tree, but you run to share it with me. That won’t always happen.
You are finding your way to independence. I cheer you on as you practice saying, “Good-bye Mama!” Then you shut the door to the bedroom. You pop out again and laugh. We make up games to ease the separation, for both of us.
We celebrate you tomorrow. We celebrate that you turn two with joy. We celebrate your incredible light in our lives. We celebrate your health and happiness. I bow in gratitude for the pure wonder of living even one day with you my son.
Happy-soon-to-be Birthday Little One.
I thank you for your light.
In her articles and personal blog posts, Amy reflects upon birth, death, motherhood, ethics, and religion/spirituality. She is a regular contributor to PhillyVoice and has blogged for Attachment Parenting International, The Birthing Site, Philly.com, and Holistic Parenting Magazine.
Author and educator Peggy O'Mara observes: "With her triple identity as yoga teacher, doula, and chaplain, Amy Wright Glenn brings a one-of-a-kind tenderness and empathy to her writing and she's not afraid to talk about the difficult parts of life."