Happy Birthday, Sadie.

Dear Sadie,

Today, you are two. You've known you were about to turn two for awhile; every time I asked how old you were, you'd say one. Then I asked how you were going to be, and you said two! And you tried to hold up two fingers, but really, you just made the gun sign with your fingers. Sometimes the Star Trek sign. 

I'll make sure you get it right before your party, although I know if anyone asks, you're not going to do it. You'll get really shy and overwhelmed by all the kids, and you'll clam up. You take a few minutes to warm up. Even when you're at library class, you sit in your little chair between Kerry and Molly and search for me, right behind you, for the first couple minutes. You never get restless anymore while the teacher reads. At the end of the class, I prod you to say "thank you" but you're so shy! You usually wave, though.

Two. You are a big girl now. in many ways, you are the same Sadie you were at one. Goofy and happy and an avid fan of books and my iPad, which you only get once you've completely exhausted me for the day. Right now you're obsessed with the videos on my phone. "Vid-yo. Vid-yo." God, kid, you must say it twenty times a day. You love watching yourself laugh and run and your favorite one is you on the swings. "Wings!" you say.

You've always found me very funny. But now you laugh at me ALL THE TIME. If I run into something, you laugh! You laugh at me now, and it kills me. "Sadie!" i exclaim, as if I'm really hurt. And you only laugh harder. You are much nicer to Pop-Pop.

A couple weeks ago, we took you to Chuck E. Cheese. Mama went out to the car for something, and I let you run wild. I'm a little more free-range this way. For a terrifying second, I couldn't see you. And then I looked down and you were trying to figure out how the video games were plugged in. You are a lot like your dad. You're always trying to figure out how everything works, how everything fits. You are a lot like your mom. You love to mother your babies. You love books. You are so sweet, when you aren't trying to make me laugh with your sneaky, witty ways. You love big and you spread your affection wide, just like my sister does.

You love cars and trucks and trains and Minnie Mouse. You love your babies and the teepee I bought you at Target. You love to go in there with your books and baby dolls. 

I still take naps with you, even though it's probably a bad idea. Lately you have gotten very clingy. Last week, I turned to sleep on my side and you scooted over until you were the big spoon to my little. I love watching you wake up. It's the only 30 seconds of the day when you're not at 200%.

You love the beach. You love the ocean. You got over your fear of pools. You are an outdoorsy kid. You love "outduuuur." Your favorite thing to do is take "outduuur" showers. You could stay in there all day, filling up buckets, washing the sides of the shower, hiding from me behind the curtain. It's getting cold now, and I'm preparing for the fits you're going to throw when we can't go outside every second.

You are only two, and so you are easier to understand than grown-ups. I know you better than I know anyone else. I know exactly what you want when you want it. And God, you are such a good kid. My love for your eclipses all the frustration of toddlerhood. 

You are sticky, sweet joy. I hope I never forget your first two years. (That's sort of the point of documenting you.) You are so goddamn lucky. You're a star, and I think you need a sibling soon or else your ego may become Auntie Kelly sized.

Sadie, I love you more than anything else on this planet. Thanks for being my reason to keep going. Thanks for being born. And thank your parents for letting me be such a huge part of your life. I take this role very seriously. 

I always will. No matter how much you laugh when I stub my toe. Stinker.


Auntie Kelly


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