On Saturday you turned twenty-three months old. Year two peeks directly over your shoulder. Not sure whether to smile for all the joy you’ve brought me in two years, more than I thought I could amass in a lifetime– or whether to cry because its going by far too fast.
You speak a hybrid of Urdu/English; the latter rife with heavily accented words that make us giggle like vats thees? The word cookah [cookie] is referred to more than any other in your repertoire but you also sometimes hint at the depths of your soul like when we visited your grandparents and you sat quietly playing with your truck and said softly to yourself, miss you K. Once you were as simple to read as a picture book. Your tears meant an unfulfilled need. Your laughs, pure unadulterated pleasure in the given moment. But now, there are ever growing subtle depths forming within you and I’m beginning see glimpses of a day when you will have your own thoughts, feelings, and private wants and when I will know you but not quite as completely as you know yourself.
You’re no longer as into independent play as you once were. Now you want to run, squeal, and dance, with others. You have a few friends like lovely little Z with whom you traded stickers as we explored the village, two moms with two toddling kids. At the playground you gaze longingly at children in packs. Sometimes you try joining. Sometimes they let you. Sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t— you have not yet learned to be hurt. And it kills me that one day, you will. I wish I could watch over you always and grab you, protecting you from any slight that may come your way. . .
|[blurry but one of the only pics of just us this month]|
but I’m going to trust in the confidence I’m helping you build; the one you effortlessly possess today to guide you through all patches, including the tough ones when a smile might not come quite so easily as it does today.
But the biggest thing this month? Your first hair cut. We were heartbroken over how much we’d miss those silky curls and terrified you’d flee the scene or scream louder than a thousand koala bears, shattering every window in the salon but you were completely cool calm, collected . . .
. . . and I’m left with this child, less a baby, more a boy. Which, well, is what you are to the world at large though in my heart you will always be the seven pound dumpling that landed in my arms nearly two years ago.
Waleed, I’ve loved you since you were two lines on a pregnancy test, a tap within my womb, and a child in my arms. I’ve loved you more than I thought I could ever love another person. Happy twenty-three months my sweet. This month you loved. And you were loved in return. When it comes to life, it doesn’t get better than this.
|Waleed and his Khala Aamina|