Dear Sweet Catarina,
|Photo by Melissa of Simply Captivating|
It's so hard to believe that today you are a two years old. My little baby has turned into a little girl. Thinking back on the past year of your life I am left both in tears of sadness and happiness. Sad that time has gone by so quickly and that there's nothing I can do to stop you from growing, but happy that time has passed in such a way to allow your personality to bloom. A year ago I would have simply said you are a happy baby. Today I can say so much more. You are still happy, but you are also a hilarious little character complete with your own quirks. Like your dad, you hate to be dirty and you love, love sweets. Like me, you have a temper and an attitude that shocks me into saying, "I didn't know a two-year old could already have an attitude like that!"
You are Miss Independent. You love to sing anything and everything and, trust me, the fact that you are currently obsessing over Adele's "Rumor Has It" has me feeling like you are definitely sprung from me. Your voice is so sweet and high-pitched that I feel sad for the day when it won't be so. You are capable of understanding so many things, but my favorite is your ability to be empathic. If you see someone crying, you will say "sta llorando" and be close to tears yourself. If you do something to hurt one of us, you will say "owwee corazon" while touching your heart. You will say, "sana sana culito de rana" to rub away the pain. And you know your kisses are magical.
As I look back on the past year of your life, I am amazed at how much has changed and how well you have adjusted. We both started school and you got a new babysitter. These are new things you were completely unaware of until they happened, but trust me baby girl, I stressed out about them and felt so guilty about taking myself away from you. I still feel that guilt, but seeing how you have grown and developed helps to ease the guilt. This next year of your life will be full of even more adjustments as we await the arrival of your little sister. I know you will be an amazing big sister and I can't wait to see you express all that love you have in you.
There is so much to say about milestones and development, but it doesn't matter. You are perfect regardless of what you know or don't know and regardless of what you do or don't do. The biggest and most important milestone of the past year has been you going from simply saying "mama" and "dada" to "love you mommy" and "love you daddy." The greatest and most fulfilling role I have as that of your mother and it makes me so proud to be known as "la mama de Cati" (thanks E!). You are such a beautiful, amazing, wonderful, miraculous little girl and somehow I got lucky enough to be your mother.
While things may have started off rocky with us, things are great now. You are secure in me and I am secure in you. We have a bond that will hopefully never be broken. You are your own little person completely separate from me and you constantly remind me that you don't need my help. But, when you do ask for help, my heart lights up because you still need me and, more importantly, because you understand wanting and choosing to ask for my help.
There is so much to say, but it's impossible to say it all when my heart is so full. You have made the past two years of my life seem like something out of a fairytale. Life with you is the stuff dreams are made of. You are my silly, goofy girl. My "baby grande." You are my Cati Diaz and I am your Mommy Diaz. And if you get nothing else out of this, at the very least take this with you: thank you for being you and for giving me the gift of motherhood. The woman I am today, the love I am capable of feeling, and the hope I have, is all because of you.