Here's the thing, Little Sister. I would have five more babies if I knew they would all be just like you.You need me in a way that your independent, own-agenda, making-the-drum-and-then-marching-to-it big sister never really has. And yet you still manage to get lost in your own little worlds, building, pretending, creating, inviting me in with a tug of the hand and a "come on, mama" when you're ready for company. When you sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," you often say "up above the world so high, mama," like you're wondering over it and want to share the surprise and joy with me. I can only hope you do the same with your delights and frustrations forever.
You feel so deeply for such a small person. You are free with your affection, and your tears come freely, too. Just this week I dared to share a banana with your sister instead of with you, and I missed the crumpling of your wee face before you began to sob, crushed-eyed staggering over to me with your arms up, offering your forgiveness, accepting my immediate consolation.
And a second banana.
I remember the worlds of worry I felt before you were born, unsure despite everything that I had been told that I would have room in my heart for you. There's actually a desperately sad video of your daddy and I singing to your big sister on her second birthday, and I'm massively pregnant and quietly crying. I couldn't have known then what I know now, that it's possible to love as wildly, as consumingly, but in such a different way. You were a different baby, you are a different girl, you are everything I never knew I was missing until you were here. You weren't the first, but you were the first to make me realize that I can grow and give again. You've been the baby that makes me want more babies.
But what I want right now? To treasure absolutely every day of the next year with you. I want to revel in your sweet temper, your growing vocabulary, your sense of humor. You are the light of my heart, Audrey Jane. My sugar plum. My getting bigger and better all the time 2-year-old girl. Happy Birthday, dumpling.