Dear Gavin: A Love Letter to a Two Year Old

Gavin turned two a week ago on April 29th.

Dear Gavin,

There’s a song that goes something like this: “Nobody knows it, but you’ve got a secret smile, and you use it only for me.

” That lyric runs through my head on repeat when we’re together. You’re a really great kid, Gavin, and you share a lot of your best qualities only with your family. I feel like you’ve let us all into some secret club, and for that honour, I am constantly grateful.

In public, you’re a sweet, shy, cute, and cuddly little boy. When we go to church, you rest your head on your Daddy’s shoulder and you sit quietly until you fall asleep. When we’re out walking, you grasp my palm with one hand and cling to a favourite stuffie with another (usually Waddle). You aren’t reserved enough not to offer up a “hi” to a kind stranger when I insist, and you always introduce your friend, too. “Waddle” you say, being so kind and polite. You stay close, you hold on, and you find safety in the nearness of us. In social situations, you hide your face quietly in my neck, peeking out only long enough to evaluate the unknown environment. Toys won’t lure you away. Kind smiles and soothings voices won’t do it either. Cameron might sway you, but really, you need time. You need reassurance until you know you’re okay to venture into the new social situation safely.

A Love Letter for a Two Year Old

You’re sensitive. You’re reserved. You’re cautious.

You’re the same precious little boy at home too, Gavin, except you’re also so much more. You like to snuggle into your pillow and go to sleep. You head off to bed without any fuss. You share when asked and you actively seek out ways to be helpful. You always say “tane tou” when someone has done something for you, and even sometimes when they haven’t. Your “yes please”s have morphed into “yuppies” for simplicities sake. You choose to sit and read quietly for fun, especially if it is a Thomas or a Dinosaur Train book. You’re as near perfect as I could ask. You’re still kind of quiet. Still kind of sensitive. Still kind of reserved. Still kind of cautious.

But then you get this little sparkle in your eye. You start smiling. You tell a joke. “Yelley pooped”, you tell me, blaming the smell in your diaper on the little pink stuffed turtle named Shelley. “Shelley pooped?” I question, unbelieving. “No. DADDY pooped!” you tell me, laughing. When you’re not spreading blame, you’re playing a seek and find game, asking where Cameron is when he’s clearly a few steps ahead of you. You laugh and laugh when you finally say “Right there!” because he was obviously there the whole time and you are just so funny.

A Love Letter to a Two Year Old

You’ve always been goofy, making funny noises and silly faces, and you’ve always revealed that special side of you only to us.

You haven’t always used words in your jokes though. That part is new. In fact, you’re just starting to really get a hang of this talking thing, finally stringing words together to craft your very own little communicative sentences. Your Daddy and I were a little worried, to be honest, but they say it is normal for a second child. You’ve never had a problem getting your point across, and Cameron would often speak for you when you wouldn’t. But you are now, and it is glorious.

You’re my second baby, and it is a little easier to not wish your little away, this time. Each “Mommy! Mommy! Skewl Bahss!” yelled from the back seat of the van isn’t met with a “Shhhh, Daddy and I are talking” but with a smile. I remember when your brother used to point out trucks and buses too. He doesn’t do that any more and I miss it (though he still tells us about sports cars). So, I let you be little. I let you crawl up in my lap and I hold you. I carry you up and down the stairs over and over, not because you can’t manage them on your own, but because your hands are often too full of toys to hold onto the banister. I tuck you into bed and give you a kiss and say “Night night baby. I love you.” And you, with your eyes shining, look at me and yell “I yav you, Daddy” with a little voice that travels right by me, down the hall, and to your Dad.

A Love Letter to a Two Year Old

You little goofball.

I love you.

Love, Mommy.

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