Today you turn two years old. And already you’ve shown us what a mess you are. A wild, tumbling, whirling mess who couldn’t be more joyous. You are stubborn and feisty. And you love to show your anger all the time. In the midst of a hysterical fit, the wacko side of you will fight the beast inside your body who tries so hard to crawl out from your mouth, however the funky side of you will see a crayon on the floor and yell, “COLORRRRRRRRR!” You will run to pick it up to draw some anger graffiti on the board, then turn around your teary messy face with an exciting grin, “LOOK! MOMMY! LOOK!”
Every morning you wake up happy. You never scream or cry. Sometimes you sing your favorite Sesame Street song in your crib although you can only sing “Sun……ny Day Sun……ny Day” and end it with a very high-pitched “SUNNY DAY!!!!!” Sometimes you call for me in 14 different ways. And when I finally come into your room, you will show me everything that you think pretty. And EVERYTHING is pretty to you – your blanket, bed sheet, the blind, even your soiled Cinderella diaper. You are delightful in the mornings: Look! Monkey! Put back! Milk! Daddy! OOH! BIRDIE! Meow Meow! E-fan! E-fan Crying! TIME OUT! RE-LA! Cin-la-re-la! Every morning you wake up, and ready to party. And I can’t wait to pick you up to smell your scent, to feel your soft skin. The only way I can describe what it’s like to hold you as you make these exhilarating outburst about the simplest of things is: BEING HIGH. I think the reason why people use illegal drugs is because they want to feel the feeling I feel when I’m holding you in the morning.
You have all the girl’s traits that I hoped for. Your kiss is always soft. You never give a causal kiss, your kiss makes everyone special although no one should feel special because you kiss just about anything. And you cuddle right up under my arms when we read book together. And you run to the mirror and smile gently to your reflection when I put a new dress on you. And you spontaneously hug me and put your nose to my nose and gently say, “I lup you.” And I pick you up when you are upset and you will put your head on my shoulder and try to get closer.
You are very different from your brother in this sense. Maybe because you are a girl. But your brother has always had a very old and wise soul. And yours is so eternally playful. Witnessing that contract is fascinating. And it continues to unfold in sometimes beautiful, but often frustrating ways. Always I have to bribe your brother to hold my hand in a busy parking lot. And even he does hold my hand, he will still try to shove it off when a speeding car comes by, because he doesn’t believe into car accidents until he experiences one. Last time I asked you to hold my hand, you looked up at me, then laughed mischievously and put your hands behind you. Then you jokingly said, “No hand!”
You adore your brother. And he’s started to learn to enjoy the fun being around you, at least until your carefree approach to life interferes with his fundamental need for order. He wants his books stacked in his book shelf by the order of their sizes. You want them dunked in the toilet and soaked with pee. Then you splash them on the Lego tower that he just built.
“Mommy, Maya is not doing the Lego right!” He’ll complain as you put a Lego flower on top of the head of a giraffe. Don’t you understand how hard it is for him to accept that? By the way, you have to stop invading his personal space. He’s already started to get to point when he will feel annoyed when you even just look at him!
Threats barely work with your brother. But this is still one of our workable weapons when dealing with him. We put him in the garage chained for 5 minutes, he will come back following our instructions. Involuntarily but indisputably. Threats NEVER work with you. You will come back angrier, still refuse to rectify your bad behavior. We put you back in another 400 times, you will still be the same. Stubborn to the core. I think somehow you know the world is filled with so many other options than the one that I am withholding. And you don’t care why you are in the garage anymore, because you are having so much fun paint-spraying my car. You are such a hippie.
Your brother’s gift to us was practice. We enjoyed his excitement about the world, but because we were first-time parents, we were always tentative. A bit careful, sometimes too cautious. But because of that practice and experience, we can run full-gear, head-first into you.
And Maya, I thank you for what you have brought us as your brother did before – the purest meaning of being alive. Everyday you remind us that we are alive another day to witness.