Last week you started your second year of "school" at Mother's Day Out, and I decided to start a tradition of writing you a letter at the beginning of each school year. I just can't get over how much you grew and changed during this last year, and I want to make sure that I remember these precious days in the years to come.
When you started school last fall, you were still a baby in so many ways. It's hard to imagine now, but you weren't even walking very steadily then...I remember worrying about the other kids knocking you over and wondering how you would navigate the playground! As I watch you now run, jump, climb, and turn flips, those days seem so far gone.
Now, at 28 months old, you are a sweeter, funnier, and more sensitive child than I ever imagined you would be. When you and Addison were babies, we thought you might run over her and try to always be "in charge". Surprisingly, we have seen many changes in you over the past year or so. Your speech came at a miraculous rate, and you have not stopped talking. Instead of pushing your sister around, you are very much a little comforter, always checking to see if she is okay after a fall or when she cries. You are a worrier at times, and if you get something in your head, you will ask about it incessantly until your mind is at ease. I find that I remind myself to be cautious not to say things that might worry or upset you, because I certainly don't want to make you nervous about anything. I think this cautious, sensitive side to your personality must be much like I was as a child. (And I know you and Addison both get your incessant chatter from me!)
You are just such a sweet and funny girl, Mackenzie. At two years old, you can make me laugh harder than anyone else I know. You already have a wonderful sense of humor, and you LOVE it when you can make us laugh. You also make me laugh with the unintentional funny things you do, like cautioning me, "Don't fall, Mama!" when I lean back in my reclining lawn chair, or singing the wrong words to "Tomorrow", your favorite Annie song ("I tickle my chin, and grin, and say...."). While playing in the yard tonight, you and Addison were pretending to push me around, and when I pretended to fall, you ran over to pat my back and ask if I was okay. As usual, I told you that a good kiss would make me all better. You give the best hugs and kisses, and I hope you are never too big to kiss your mama. When you walk up and wrap your arms around my knees, I just melt.
Some things to remember about you at almost two-and-a-half...
Favorite songs: Tomorrow, Jesus Loves Me, Happy Birthday (you'll sing to anyone!), Bunny Foo-Foo, Ice Ice Baby (but only the chorus, thankfully)
Favorite foods: You will try just about anything, but you love Rice Krispy treats, goldfish, shredded cheese, macaroni & cheese, french fries, fruit snacks, and pancakes
Favorite books: Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, In Case You Ever Wonder, and Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama
Favorite Activities: You love to watch Thomas the Tank Engine and Toy Story (we call it "Woody") and America's Funniest Home Videos. Yes, we are very mature and classy in our choice of entertainment here. : ) You like to color and play with stickers, though you usually tire of it before Addison. You like to dress up, and you are constantly asking for help putting on a tutu, sunglasses, random shoes, or hats. Lately, you have really enjoyed wearing my shoes around the house and you will demand that I take them off so you can wear them...though since you have learned to get in my closet, you often go find a pair yourself! You like to play in your kitchen, and you have recently begun asking me, "Do you need anything, Mama? Something to drink?" I wondered where you might have come up with this until I realized that's what the waitresses ask us in restaurants. Maybe it's a sign we eat out too often? You pretend to make coffee for me at least three or four times a day, and even though I rarely drink coffee at home, I can't resist yours! You love to talk on the phone and play games or "draw" on our phones.
Dislikes: The vacuum cleaner, for sure...you don't even want to talk about it, and when you saw one in Wal Mart the other night, you told me, "Don't take it home, Mama!". You have also developed a fear of bugs and flies this summer, and you freak out if one gets in the car. You had your first wasp sting earlier this summer (on the top of your head!), but you only cried for a minute and forgot about it, so I really don't think that's where the fear is coming from.
Mama's current favorite memory: You have recently begun asking "Who bring me this?" or "Where I get this from?" We tell you who bought the item for you, then you want to know where they got it and any more detail we will give you. I love to watch you absorb all this and work it around in your mind. You think hard about how to ask your questions, and it just amazes me to see your little mind working in such a big way. I also love that you put my name at the end of all your questions..."Can you do it, Mama?" "You need help, Mama?" "You okay, Mama?" Oh, my heart!
You have always been a mama's girl, but you are really developing an affinity for your daddy right now too, and I love to watch it. You like to "work" with him outside, and you also like to sit in the driveway and draw with sidewalk chalk with me. You love your NiNi and Jen-Jen something fierce...actually I feel like you have a very strong attachment to all of your "people", which makes you a perfect fit for this tight-knit family of ours. You sleep long and hard, and I love to watch you in that vulnerable, innocent state. I can still catch a glimpse of my baby Mackenzie when you're sleeping, even though you're such a big girl now.
I tell you all the time that you are beautiful, sweet, and smart, and I hope you know that I mean ALL of it. I hope you stay snuggly and sensitive and caring, but I also hope that you always say what you think and stand up for yourself. You are an amazing little girl, Mackenzie Ross, and I can't even explain how happy I am that you're mine. I hope you have a wonderful school year, and I can't wait to see all that you accomplish this year!