Dear Big Zoom,
Tomorrow, my biggest little man, you will turn two. TWO! Two years old is going to be fantastic for you, I can just feel it. You’ll make new friends at preschool in the fall, you’ll teach your baby brother how to walk and talk, you’ll learn to ride a tricycle, you’ll learn to use the potty (let’s hope!), and you will continue to show us your spritely personality.
This past year with you, wild and crazy Big Zoom, has been remarkable. You started taking your first steps on the day you turned 1, and you haven’t slowed down since. You were not by any stretch of the imagination a calm or “easy” baby. You spent the first year of your life wriggling out of our arms in an effort to get down on the ground and play, and this year was no different. Rather than sit in our laps, you zoom around the house or playground or backyard anxious to explore and discover. For many many months, I’d attempt to turn on Sesame Street or cartoons in the hopes that you’d be placid for a few minutes so I could catch a breather. This never worked for very long and soon we’d be on to the next activity. The only thing that holds your attention currently are firetrucks. We have books and movies filled with firetrucks and fireman that we read and watch over and over and over. You’ve started to enjoy a short snuggle, as long as we’re watching Fireman Sam and you have your green froggy. I savor those snuggles and have learned to love Fireman Sam.
Your Daddy and I are convinced you are a child genius. I used to laugh at parents who bragged about their kid doing this or that, wondering how they could think that their toddler eating sand was such an accomplishment. I get it now, and I’m quite certain that you are in fact brilliant. You rarely say “words” we can’t understand and your vocabulary seems to be exploding daily. You are starting to identify all kinds of trucks and animals (complete with sounds) and can string together two and three word sentences. We’ve had to start watching our language much more closely because you mimic everything we say. In fact, last week I broke my toe and yelled out an unsavory word, which you picked up instantly and started shouting as well. Yikes!
I worried when your baby brother arrived that you’d be jealous or hurt or sad. After all, you are only 16 months apart and you were still such a baby yourself when he was born. But your maturity surprised me incredibly. From the moment your brother was born and we brought him home, we noticed a change in you. It was like you got older and wiser overnight. You became so independent so quickly. You learned to play by yourself, happily, within a week. You began helping me with Little Zoom by bringing me diapers and bottles and toys. You were suddenly able to be patient for an extra 10 seconds (that made 10 seconds total), so I could settle the baby before bringing you your juice. You haven’t once been jealous and you’ve been incredibly gentle. You’ve made me so proud.
Our family and close friends know that I struggled a little bit the year after you were born. I felt overwhelmed and terribly unsure of myself and very lonely. Even though your birth was the catalyst for those feelings, your presence has been the remedy. I’ve learned so much about myself from you. You’ve taught me what my strengths and weaknesses are. You’ve helped me make new friends and try new activities. You’ve shown me how much I am capable of. Most of all you taught me how to love your baby brother from the second he was born. Because when I looked at him, I thought of you, and smiled thinking about the year to come.
I love you Big Zoom. Happy Birthday sweet, sweet boy.