Two years. Two years old. Two years ago today. 

Dear Stella,

Thank you for being a total science dolt like me. Your frustration and utter lack of common sense with the mechanics of stacking blocks relieves me – I will never be called down to the cop shop at 2 am after you’ve been caught as the leader of a 1950s girl gang who steals cars in saddle shoes.

Thank you for abruptly flinging that 40 lb barbell disguised as a Happy Meal bracelet at the side of my head. It taught me a) I need to work on my peripheral awareness and b) there are many reasons why Happy Meals aren’t good for you.  Please don’t foster that throw. Girls who play baseball grow up into stout single Moms with winding ankle rose tattoos who deliver auto parts.

Thank you for retaining every single thing you hear from our mouths and repeating it back in ways that make our insides clench with pure unadulterated pride. The tiny mouth that could once only cry, burp, cry and suckle now spits back renditions of lullabies, Hip Hop Hooray, the alphabet song and 1-13 in English & Punjabi (yeah, that’s a TOTAL BRAG).

You're not perfect - I would like you to work on a few things. I’m never cool with your Pocky fingerprints slathered all over my pants, the spit crust ‘stache you rock in the mornings along with a drooping diaper filled with hot piss. The whining, the stop & crouch move that makes a 5 minute walk into a 15 minute exercise in patience and then you being forcefully dragged into elevators. The silent toss of toast crusts across the kitchen when I'm not looking. The slump move activated when you don't want to be strapped into the car. The full mouth slap you administered to me last week. Brilliant in execution and brazenness, f-cking terrible as far as social skills and respect for your mother go.

I’m sorry for the 3 minutes on Thursday morning when I drop you off at daycare. When you cling to me like I’m about to push you off a cliff into a moat of headless giggling Elmo’s with doctor's needles for hands, and I have to unpeel you and leave you there… My darling girl it is the worst time of my life and my whole face and legs and just everything aches as I take those heavy guilty steps back to the car and listen to you cry for me. I know, we know, I’m coming back to get you. But the eyes you give me as I leave, two giant overflowing soup bowls of abandonment and fear, they neatly slice my heart in two. Believe me – half of my heart stays on that stoop with you. I pick it up at 4:45 with you. Bottom line: you need to be braver like your Pops; we both do. I'll try if you will.

When we go to the aquarium today and share some birthday “doduts” with Aunties & Uncles later, know this: you make me batsh-t crazy sometimes, a stereotype of a Mom (short tempered and eye-rollingly frustrated) but 10 months + two years later this is still the best adventure I've (we've) ever had. Even if you hate/ignore the gifts we lovingly picked out and had shipped in from all corners of the world, the love I feel for you, full and rich, is the f-cking greatest gift ever. From you to me. Thank you for that, so so very much.

Happy birthday monkey toes.

Love, Mama


Also – I didn’t do a slide show because my iPhoto library is a bitch. Sorry for that too.