My baby is somehow 2 years old today. Will it ever stop being sentimental and nostalgic as a mother? I find that both times now before her birthdays, I’ve wanted to re-read her birth story and look at photos of when she was first born. It seems impossible that we are here, and yet, I don’t remember life without her. I may be more emotional because of alllll the hormones and the realisation that I am about to embark on this journey all over again in just a couple months. Motherhood. Parenting. What a journey, hey?
Eleanor is acutely aware that it is her birthday today. There were a few friends who have had birthdays in the past few weeks, and when she would ask about her birthday, we would tell her that it was coming up. Then this past week, in the busyness and craziness of it all, we tried to be excited with her about her birthday in just a few days. This morning, Robbie got up with her, and I had forgotten to put her gift in our room until we were ready for her to open it. It was sitting on the coffee table, all wrapped up, and she was so ready to open it. Robbie told her she had to wait until I woke up so you better believe when they came to wake me up a bit later, Eleanor wanted nothing to do with my birthday wishes or cuddles and simply said “PRESENT!” She’s a girl who knows what she wants.
Robbie and I have really enjoyed these last couple months with Eleanor in particular because of how much she communicates now. She’s known heaps of words from about 18 months, but in the past couple months, she has become “conversational”. So she will say sentences and tell us what she is doing (or what we should be doing). It’s really exciting to watch language develop in a child; it’s definitely one of my favourite parts of watching her develop so far.
When we have asked her what she wants for her birthday this past week, she leans in and whispers “cake” with a little gleam in her eye. She also loves to sing “Happy Birthday” and has told us that everyone will be singing “Happy Birthday” to her now. She enjoyed this morning when her friends sang to her during morning tea, and she also thoroughly enjoyed a little “Happy Birthday” song video from my sister, Lisa (which we probably watched 100 times).
Birthdays are so exciting to Eleanor and not just her own birthday. Eleanor loves people. She always has, and now that she is getting older and talking more, we are seeing more of this gift come out. She loves when she gets to tell someone “Happy Birthday”, and she loves to give them a gift or a hug. She loves doing that all the time in fact. When Eleanor and I have baked cookies together, she is almost more excited about handing them out to her friends than eating them herself, although she does indeed love to eat cookies.
She is enthusiastic as can be. This morning when I told her she got to wear her birthday shirt today, she started singing “BIRTHDAY SHIRT! BIRTHDAY SHIRT!” When I cook one of her favourite meals, she comes into the kitchen, sees it and just starts giggling and dancing. She is so positive and joyful. As much as I love, love, love snuggly babies, I am realising that getting to know your kids as they get older is probably one of the best things about parenting. I know there will be hard times and parts of them that will challenge me to my core, but seeing them develop as their own little people – what a privilege.
Finally, a book that Robbie and I have been sifting through more recently has a bunch of names in it with their spiritual meaning/connotation. Our friend Terese sent me the meanings of Eleanor Hazel when she was born, but until recently, I hadn’t fully remembered. It’s incredible how much they describe her.
Inherent Meaning: Bright as the sun
Spiritual Connotation: Kindhearted, warm
Inherent Meaning: God sees
Spiritual Connotation: Watching in the light