I fret a lot about how to raise my daughter to be a strong, empowered individual, a person who doesn't value herself solely based on her appearance, and so I used to imagine my daughter as a tomboy. As it turns out, what she really loves is nail polish and dresses and princesses and pink. Maybe this will change when she gets older. Maybe not. Ultimately, it's not up to me to decide what femininity or even feminism means to her. In the meantime, at least I can be happy that we like the same snacks.
You've been telling people that you're two for the past few weeks, but today is the day that it actually happens.
Everybody talks about the "terrible twos," but even though you've certainly become much more opinionated over the past year, I have a feeling that you're going to keep being your same sweet self. It's something that everyone notices about you, how happy and good-natured you are. You're affectionate and empathetic, playful, and just generally wonderful to be around. Yesterday when you and Mommy met me for lunch, as soon as I opened your car door you greeted me by saying, "Hi Daddy. I missed you." And then you gave me a hug.
Of course it's hard not to love that kind of sweetness, but there's so much more I've gotten to know about you that also makes me smile. I love that you've picked up numbers and counting so quickly. I love that you like to introduce yourself to me every other day. ("Hi. I Eva.") I love that you will quack at yourself in the mirror when I wrap you in your ducky towel after bathtime. I love that you love books so much. I love that you're just as into pirates as you are into princesses. And I love that you get along so well with your brother.
I haven't gotten to see you as much as either of us would have liked over the past few months, since I've been spending so much time at work. Sometimes you cry when I leave in the mornings. But then, you're just as attached to Mommy and Jason, and you see them all the time. I'm sorry for all the time I've missed, and I hope you know how much I cherish the time I do get with you, with the whole family. We're going to Disneyland this weekend to celebrate and have fun and spend time together, and I promise I will be there for that.
Today's going to be a great day, my girl. Happy birthday! I love you.
Soundtrack: "Summer Breeze Extended" by Nicholas Pesci. Used with permission.
This is Eva and her Tico Rico (as he's been called ever since a two-year-old Jason was unable to properly pronounce the Spanish word for "uncle"). For the first couple of months after she first met her Tico, Eva would burst into tears whenever he entered the room. Now, though, she adores him. This is actually a rare shot of her being near him without a huge smile.