You can read my letter to Luca on his first birthday, here.
Happy birthday, big boy! As all mothers say, I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. It seems like just yesterday that I was bouncing you on a yoga ball in the middle of the night, shushing you, praying you’d fall asleep. It seems like just yesterday that I was taking long walks around Jersey City with you in the winter as a newborn, because I knew you loved to look around at the world and be lulled by the bumpy sidewalks . It seems like just yesterday that you said your first word, tasted your first bite of food, took your first step, and had many other firsts. Every day continues to be filled with exciting firsts, and I’m the luckiest mama in the world to be able to experience those moments with you.
When I first became your mother, everything was new and you’re all I knew. I didn’t know what to expect, when the milestones would come, and if I was doing a good job as a mother. I was and still do my best, and what I’ve realized is that’s exactly what you need. You need me, but more importantly, I need you. You’ve taught me so much in your short 2 years, but above all, you’ve taught me to slow down and cherish life and the little things. Just today, we stopped at every single tree trunk just so you could feel the bark. It took 30 minutes to walk a 10 minute walk home from school, but every minute was filled with smiles and laughter.
Just as I did in my first letter to you on your first birthday, I’d like to celebrate YOU and what makes you uniquely Luca. Everyone in your life who meets you uses words like “cool” or “awesome.” You’re always giving people high fives, waving hello, and smiling. They call you “personable, friendly, adorable, affectionate, energetic, smart,” and, as your father loves to hear, “athletic.” You ride a scooter better than 4 year olds can and people stop in the street to watch you scoot along, it’s so impressive. You back up to kick a soccer ball with such focus and precision, we can’t help but think that may be ‘your sport.’ All sports come naturally to you – even the way you throw a basketball up in the air is more skilled than full grown adults! Your 2nd birthday party theme was literally “balls,” because you love ball sports so much! It’s breathtaking as a parent to see your child develop hobbies and loves.
You wake up everyday with this unbelievable energy. It’s been tough sometimes, because Mommy and Daddy get tired chasing you around, but we see the happiness in your eyes and your lust for life and it makes it all worth it. You don’t just live in this world, you experience it – every single inch of it. You love dancing (especially to Lizzo’s Juice, that’s your favorite right now), music (you always bop your head, even to elevator music), jumping, and running. You’re active, to say the least.
Your favorite toys are cars, balls, and blocks. You’ve just started enjoying coloring and chalk more, but you much prefer to build something, rather than draw it. You just LOVE to play. You understand how things work, and it’s startling every time you figure something out that we didn’t know you knew how to do.
You like to help Mommy as much as possible at mealtimes, which makes me happy, because I can share my love for cooking. Speaking of, your favorite foods are grilled cheeses, butternut squash, oatmeal, eggs (this is new!), sweet potatoes, Mommy’s chicken sausage pizza, turkey meat sauce, falafel, bagels, waffles, blender muffins, yogurt with almond butter, cheese, meatballs, quesadillas, and fruit of any kind, especially bananas.
You started school 10 days ago and the teachers say you have the biggest heart and are such a happy kid. We can’t wait to see you thrive at school and develop even more personality and preferences. Learning is beautiful and we are so grateful to help you grow.
Probably the biggest change in this second year of your life is that you now have a baby sister, Roma. Now that it’s the four of us, Mommy doesn’t love you any less. If anything, I love you more. You’re now my daughter’s big brother. You love her so much already and give her kisses every morning and before bed. You always want to spend time with her and sometimes we have to tell you to be gentle, because you don’t understand how delicate she is, but you are doing a great job. She looks at you with her big brown eyes and loves to stare at your face. She loves you too, and I can’t wait for you two to play together soon. You will always protect her, even when Mommy is not around. She will always be there when you need her, too.
Despite being a strong and energetic little boy, there are times when you come back to being Mommy’s baby. You’ve fallen asleep on Mommy out at restaurants, you’ve cried for me when you’re scared and want to be picked up, and always run to me when you have a boo boo. No matter what, I’ll always be here for you. I’ll always be here when you’re tired, frustrated, sick, hurt, and even when you’re happy and want to share that with me. I’ll never stop kissing and hugging you, even when you grow up and think Mommy’s silly. You’ll always be my little baby, the one I held at 3am for hours so you could sleep when your tummy hurt.
I love you so much, Luca. I know your 2nd year of life is going to be as much of a blockbuster hit as your first. Thank you for bringing me along!
And Daddy loves you too. He feels the same way I do about you. We’re so proud to be your parents. We hope you’re proud of us!