As I start this letter I do not have to look far for my inspiration, because you are curled up taking a nap right in my lap. Yesterday was your last day of being one, and we had a good day filled with simple moments that hit my heart. On our way to your dad’s work in the morning we hung out in the back seat and happily held hands for the ride. When I picked you up from your kid’s group, the caregiver gave me such a positive update: You had a complete 180-degree change! Last week you were taking toys from the newborn of the group, but this week all you wanted to do was help with the baby and bring him toys. This is good news, because in June you will become a big brother.
It will be a massive change for you, but I want you to know that you will always have a unique place: You will always be my firstborn. You were the first to make me a mama. During your first two years, we’ve had so many adventures around Chicago together, so I want to share some of our best memories with you as we ring in your second birthday.
One of your first major outings was to the Chicago Botanic Garden when you were just a few months old. Your daddy and I both enjoy nature and wanted you to start taking it in as soon as possible. We made quite a caravan, because grandpa and grandma and their friends from New York joined us, too. We stopped a bunch to take care of your newborn needs along the way. Grandma even rocked you and sang to you as she fed you a bottle in the beautiful English Walled Garden. We snapped a group pic in front of the shimmering water with kites flying by. On the way home we had a tasty meal at Giordano’s. You were too little to try the pizza, but maybe the smells got to you, because these days pizza is one of your favorite foods and you even do a cute dance every time it appears.
Daddy and I strolled you around Brookfield Zoo in the crisp autumn weather when you were about 8 months old. As I held you after you had a milk break, you looked right at me and said, “ma-ma!” Your timing was perfect, because daddy was there to hear it too. We tried to show you all of the different animals, but some were too far or too still to really catch your attention. Toward the end, daddy held you tight by the energetic horses, and your eyes flickered with excitement!
This year you are a wiggly and curious toddler, so we try to get you out of the house as much as possible even during the chilly Chicago winter. Your daddy is definitely a sports guy, so he was excited to take you to your first hockey game to see the Chicago Wolves play. We got there early and you couldn’t get enough of the Girl Scout cookies from the biggest cookie dunk in the world. While the stands were still empty before the game you trotted up and down the stairs and down the long rows of the stadium. Your daddy and I took turns chasing you, and it was quite a work out! When the opening show started with lots of loud noises and rings of fire, you weren’t scared at all, because you were snuggled right between us.
Last spring, just after your first birthday, mommy and daddy took you on a trip to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The weather outside was still very wintery and gray, so it was fun to point out all of the brightly colored flowers to you. You even smelled the lilacs! While your daddy is a sports guy, I heart flowers and it is so adorable how you always stop to smell the flowers with me whenever we are out together. After your new sister or brother comes along, we’ll have to take a road trip to Holland, Michigan. That is where your daddy asked me to marry him! There will be lots of flowers for us to smell at the tulip fest they have each spring.
Isaiah, whether we are home and you are asking for “huggies,” my favorite thing to give you, or out on family adventures, you bring me so much joy every day. I wrote this letter in pieces, so we had a wild weekend since I started. We celebrated your second birthday with a brunch fest at Nonna’s house. I whipped up one of your favorite foods: waffles. You had eaten two and half waffles before our first guests even arrived! This gave you plenty of fuel to run around and play with about 10 kiddos who came to your party!
As I was wrapping this up, you looked right at me, lifted up your sippy cup full of milk, and said, “cheers!” Your daddy taught you this one recently. Isaiah, I love you madly, and there are so many things that stand out about you. You have super long lashes, just like your dad, and amazing blue eyes. You are curious and super energetic. You are helpful and even unload the dishwasher with me each day. You get goofy when you are sleepy, just like me, and I know you are going to be a kind big brother. Cheers to you on your second birthday, my beloved firstborn.