Thursday, January 15, 2009

To my best friend's daughter, on her second birthday

When she was born, she didn't look like anyone. She had fat cheeks, a smooth bald head, and wrinkly skin, like someone had mistakenly given her the size-large skin suit instead of the medium. You would be hard-pressed to say that she looked like anyone in her family, unless Buddha or Winston Churchill was her uncle. When they brought her home, dry skin flaked off of her forehead in droves, and she moved her alien hands stiffly and in mysterious, ninja-like patterns. Everything seemed to surprise her. She would squint and widen her eyes again and again; her dry cupid lips would form into a tight "O," as though she was practicing her whistling. She was gassy and messy, and gave many darling outfits foul, un-ladylike stains. She flashed big, gummy smiles if you made just the right face. She was soft and warm and small. When you held her, you could feel your heart beat out of your chest and into your throat, then out of your mouth and into her hands.

She is two years old today. Today, she is all sturdy toddler legs and flashes of color as she speeds by. Her hair is straight and blonde; its limp wisps graze her deep brown eyes and the tops of her ears. Her cheeks are still plump, and when she poses for the camera they turn into two glossy ornaments that frame her toothy smile. She smiles a lot these days. She can say all sorts of things, including "no" and "mine, all mine." She uses these phrases liberally and with zeal. When she is tickled she squeals and scrunches her face as she protectively shrugs her shoulders up to those infamous cheeks. Books are one of her favorite toys. She will sit in your lap and demand that you read board-book after board-book until you are hoarse. She is no doormat, and is quick to show the other kids who is boss. She can drink through a straw and ride a tricycle. She has her daddy's Lithuanian-blonde hair, brown eyes, and straight nose. She has her mommy's full lips, big smile, and oval face. She is as impish as both of them.

I still don't have my heart back. I think she put it in her pocket so her hands are free to kick the world's ass.

Happy Birthday, Kid.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

She sounds adorable and like she has her 'aunt' wrapped around her finger!
(which is what most little ones do to us)

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