A few weeks back, as Anna gleefully paraded around the basement completely naked, Mike turned to me and said, "You know, I'm going to be really sad when I can't just squeeze her little butt whenever I want."
And I laughed and agreed, and then quickly became distracted. (Most likely by something along the lines of "Please, Anna, do NOT pee on couch". My life is very glamorous, you know.) But his words have been sticking with me.
Here we are, on the anniversary of the day Anna came into our lives, and I can't help but feel sentimental. Because he's right. How many times in a day do I tell her I love her? How often do I smoosh my lips against her cheek and inhale her smell? How much do I love tickling her tummy and hearing her squeal with delight? And how soon until she wants nothing to do with any of those things?
When you become a parent, the learning curve is steep and you grow and change in ways you never expected. One of the biggest realizations, I think for both Mike and myself, though, has been the fact that we are to our parents what Anna is to us.
I understand now why my mom insists I call her when I arrive safely home. And why my dad showed up to every softball game I ever played in. I get it.
At some point in time, they laughed at all the silly things I did and marveled at my cute little butt as I pranced around free of clothing.
In one of my favorite blogs, the author shared a trick she uses for when her babies are waking her up in the middle of the night or driving her up a wall. She says she imagines it is twenty or thirty years in the future, and her little ones are all grown up and living their own lives, and for one night she is allowed to travel back in time to hug them and snuggle them and rock them again as babies.
Mike thinks I'm crazy, but I sometimes start feeling sad when I think too hard about the fact that someday Anna will be spreading her wings to head off to college or start her own family. I know that she is only two. But I also know that these past two years have gone by in a quick blur, and from what I hear, it only starts to fly by faster. Right now, she is our everything, and I have a hard time imagining it any other way.
Anna, let me say this: No matter where your life takes you, no matter who you become, your dad and I will always be the tree you can fly home to.
As long as you let me pinch that cute little butt of yours.
Happy Birthday, Anna!
And Mom and Dad, in case you were wondering, my butt, while not quite as little as it once was, is still pretty darn cute. At least that's what Mike tells me.