Well, it's official: You're two years old! I have so much I want to say to you about who you are becoming, and about how proud I always am of you, so I will just jump right in.
Here's the funny thing about being two: you will have absolutely no recollection of this age when you're grown up. That makes me a little bit sad, because I want you always to remember this beautiful time: the time where your sister was your best friend, the "meow" was the funniest thing on the planet, and you were always more than willing to share. The time where you still liked to rock before you went to sleep, still slept with "Muirne,", and still liked to wear footie pajamas. The time where your greatest thrill in life was going out to work with dad, or just going outside for any reason at all. The time where no food was your enemy, and fruit snacks were your best friend. The time when television held little allure, blocks and cars were still a novelty, and wearing funny hats around the house was your idea of being silly.
See? So many good things. Things that you may not even recall.
Will you recall climbing out of your crib for the first time? Or the day you realized that not all four-legged canines were not called Muirne, but were, instead, doggies? Will you remember when you figured out how to say important boy words like couch, pizza, pop, and poop?
More importantly, will you remember all of the precious times you crawled into bed with mom and dad and smothered us with hugs? Some of those other things may slip our minds, too, but not this one. This one will stick forever.
You are shaping up to be one of the best people we know. You are so loving and kind, so pleasant to be around and play with, and just generally a cool kid. You play well with others and share. You love to dance. At night, when Charis asks if we can sing a song, you oblige her with a "La, La, La" creation of your own. Then, you lay down on your back, tuck your hands behind your head and let out a deep and satisfied, "Aaahhhhh." This never fails to crack us up. You love to read, you love to hide under blankets, you love to sneak a hot dog or three out of the fridge. You love to "shovel" snow with my dustpans. You love to help me cook. I cannot say enough good about you, Judah!
For all of that, you do have a stubborn streak. What can I say? Your parents are two headstrong people, so you didn't have a fighting chance; you were always meant to be a little bit strong-willed. We fight those battles with you sometimes, to be honest. But in the end, you always end up with that wonderful smile and charming guffaw, and the whole thing is forgotten.
We marvel at how you seem to grow and mature daily, adding new words, actions, and capabilities to your repertoire at an alarming rate. You are turning into a bona fide boy right before our eyes--no more of that baby stuff for you. It's always fun to watch, and sometimes a little bit sad. The important thing for you to remember, though, is this: no matter how you change, no matter how you grow, no matter how many of these things you remember or discard, we will always love you completely and be awed at the fact that God chose us to be your parents. We feel so blessed and humbled that He gifted us with you.
Happy Birthday, Judah!