Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Two Years of Grace

Today is Grace’s birthday, and it seems a fitting day to reflect on the past two years of having Grace here in the world. She has changed so much, from a tiny little bundle of myopic cuddles and floppy neck to a talking, running burst of independence and exuberance. Also, you will be happy to hear that she is finally growing some hair.

I recently watched the little movie Rob made about Grace’s birth again (gosh, are we slackers about the movies or what? we have quite a bit of unedited video sitting around; many apologies, grandparents...) and it all came rushing back about being so pregnant and so ready for her to arrive, and then the overwhelming and scary and wonderful experience of actually having her with us.

I love seeing the character qualities in Grace that have remained consistent through her short life, although they tend to manifest themselves in different ways as she gets bigger. She has always been active and sociable, interested in people and being busy and trying new things. She’s a little bit of a drama queen, experiencing her feelings with intensity, but she is almost always easily comforted. She has always been a bit unpredictable and not too bound to a schedule (although our parenting style might be partly culpable there) and she is intense and persistent when interested in something. One thing that brought me a lot of gladness when we started to be around other babies Grace’s age was to see how many of her characteristics were particular to her, and not to babies in general. Even from those newborn days, she was so obviously an individual.

And then of course, there are the little passing quirks that are so intense for a few weeks and then are made obsolete by the next obsession. For posterity and grandparents and all that, here are what Grace is interested in at two years old:
  • She is currently really into brushing her teeth and will do it for fun while I shower in the morning. Nonetheless, we are afraid she has a cavity.
  • After a shopping trip when we have transferred our bags from the shopping cart to the car, she will insist, “Mommy, go fast!” as we return the cart to the store. I try to accommodate her.
  • She will eat all the blueberries I am willing to put in front of her; seriously, I am not sure when she would stop if I just kept giving them to her.
  • She likes to hang on to Rob’s back and gleefully demand, “Go go, daddy, go!”
  • Grace loves to press buttons, especially if they beep or do something when she presses them. Pushing buttons on the microwave is a big hit, as is pushing the button on our remote to start music.
  • As she comes out of a fit of crying and being upset, she will remark “Gracie sad”, ask for a Kleenex (“Neeyex”), and dab her eyes. It’s a coping mechanism, I guess, and not a bad one, actually. Maybe I’ll try it the next time life feels overwhelming.
But today I don’t feel like I need a Kleenex. Today feels like a day for celebration and chocolate cake and covering Grace’s sweet-smelling two-year-old cheeks with kisses.

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