Oh, boy. Where to even begin. Willow is two. "Two, not one" as she would say. I told her she wasn't a baby anymore and since I call her "baby" so much she responded, "not Willow anymore!" Baby is just synonymous with Willow I guess. She really isn't a baby anymore though. She walks, she talks, she has her own ideas. It's a whole different world from where we were a year ago. It's tragic and beautiful and wild and fun.
We started talking about Willow's birthday a few days beforehand. I told her people were going to say happy birthday and she would be two years old now. I told her she'd see all her favorite people (except Uncle Chris and Aunt Kat who were traveling, which I had to explain a few times haha), we'd have a Hungry Caterpillar party, and we'd eat cupcakes. We kept all our promises and Willow had a blast.
It was fun to see her enjoy her birthday for the first time. She knew it was a special day (special weekend more like). And she was in a great mood. I had been a little nervous because the week before, she'd been sick... sicker than she's ever been before. In the past two years Willow has been sick maybe twice? And both those times for a couple days tops and was in good spirits despite a fever or a runny nose. This time was different. She had a fever for two days straight and I could tell she was just miserable. She didn't want to move or do any of her normal exploring. She slept all but six hours of the day for the first two days, ate hardly anything, and only wanted to lay on the couch and cuddle with me. It was sad and sweet and a reminder of the little baby I used to have. And it took a while for her to get over that illness. She still had a cough and runny nose for a few days following and just wasn't her normal, enthusiastic self. Luckily, she seemed to heal just in time for this big weekend.
Erik and I took her to the zoo yesterday as a last birthday hurrah and it was the perfect trip. It was sprinkling the whole time, so hardly anyone was there but the animals were loving the cooler drizzly weather (I swear, Richmond is either a humid heatwave or it's straight cold, zero in between). It was the perfect ending to little girl's second birthday. Although she's still carrying her birthday balloons absolutely everywhere she goes and shouting "happy birthday!" on occasion. So I suppose the fun still hasn't ended.
I'm so glad to see her growing up. Beyond thankful that I get to be the one person who witnesses nearly every moment of it. I can't imagine NOT spending all my days with her. Willow tests my patience and she charms me and makes me laugh all within the same moment. She is simultaneously brave and cautious. She is funny and bold and sweet and thoughtful. She is so clever and focused and full of music and movement. She notices and absorbs everything around her. She feels EVERYTHING strongly... joy, sadness, hunger, exhaustion and anger. And she's stubborn and determined about it all.
She's bits of me and bits of Erik and mostly just Willow. It will be fun one day to look back and see how true these traits hold for her. Right now, it is a perfect storm of awesome and I know her third year will be just as fun.