I put my 1 year old to bed for the last time tonight. Tomorrow she turns 2. It's almost unreal to me, how she went from a tiny little birdie to a tall, funny, gorgeous, wonderful (and often frustrating) toddler in the blink of an eye. I'm not as weepy this year as I was last, and I think that's because we have another baby in the house to remind me that the baby phase is sweet, but the toddler phase is FUN (sorry, Romo!).
We did have a few sweet moments before bedtime. It's one of my favorite times of day, and not just because bedtime is the precursor to some quiet time in the house and my OWN bedtime. It's always sweet because it means a cup of milk, snuggles, reading her books, and the trip upstairs for kisses and hugs. Just in the past 2 or 3 months, she's taken to not wanting to be carried up to bed most nights, instead saying, "No, mama. Luca wanna walk." (yes she refers to herself in the third person a la Bob Dole). And then we go up together, counting each step aloud, as she twists to the side to try to reach the banister. Usually, her hand grasps for it and misses.
Tonight, for the first time ever, she reached up and found purchase on the wooden railing.
My baby is getting so big.
Before we made the trek up to bed, though, we read a few books and got her dressed in her jammies. Rohan was having some gas issues, so we read over his crying while Darrick rocked him. She was sitting in my lap, her sweaty toddler head and sticky blonde hair touching my cheek. Mid-jammie change, she looked up at me with those (huge, gorgeous, going to break some hearts with them) green eyes and smiled, then started to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to me. Next thing I knew, I was holding her like one would hold a baby, her head resting on my right arm, her long legs folded over my left, and we were singing it together. But it wasn't a normal version; rather we sang it the way I used to sing it to her when she was a baby.
"Twinkle twinkle, Luca star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a baby diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle Luca star
How I wonder what you are."
I told her how, when she was little like her brother, I used to sing that to her at bathtime and bedtime. And how I used to hold her, just like that, close to my heart.
And then I felt her little hand reach up for my cheek, and heard her say, "Don't cry, Mama." And it was only then that I realized I was.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Luca. You are a light in our lives, and our worlds were changed in such profound ways on the day you were born. We love you so much more than we could ever tell you. So happy birthday, our little star.