Saturday, February 16, 2013

R Is Two

My darling R is now two years old. We celebrated with a very large (by my standards, anyway: around 40 people) party. R loved it of course; I enjoyed myself too but am mostly relieved it's over (as I find party planning stressful).

B is out of town (in Japan on business, sad both because of missing R's birthday and because I always feel like an orphan when he's gone) so the family celebration won't happen until next Thursday. R gets a birthday week, continuing my family's tradition: my mother is really into birthdays and gave herself a two-week birthday for her 50th, including a present each day.

Often I look at R and am filled with amazement by her. Of course she is just an ordinary little girl, but to me she is perfect: shining with beauty, intelligence, charm and personality. When I see her running towards me beaming with happiness, to fling her arms around me and joyfully shout "Mama! Mama!", it's hard to describe the great love I feel.

I don't find this frightening (although often parents will describe their feelings this way); what I do find frightening is R's love for me. It's a heavy responsibility to be so adored by a tiny, vulnerable creature. R has many interests these days, but I am still the center of her universe and she loves and trusts me completely. If R didn't love me so much, it wouldn't wound her when I snap at her, or am insensitive, or ignore her because I want to read the newspaper: but she does, and so I cause her pain.

I wrote before about how love and pain are inextricably bound together. But it's one thing to accept that loving others may cause you emotional suffering and quite another to accept that you are going to cause it in them: and with a small child, this is even harder, because they are so innocent (B can make an informed decision, and opt out if he wants to: but R is incapable of doing so).

R, I promise that I will be the very best mother that I can, and try to be the kind that you deserve to have, in all your loveliness and goodness. You are very special, and whatever you do or wherever you go in later life, I will love you always.


  1. aw this post makes me want to bawl my eyes out because I know what you mean and it's so so so hard to balance the feelings. The times that I do snap at P or end up having to punish her I always feel so much pain because a part of me keeps shouting - she's just a little kid! she's so innocent! she's so eager to learn and do right. ugh. parenting. how i love you.

    1. Yes, exactly! especially the part about being eager to do right: R wants so much to do a good job and please me. It's sort of heartbreaking.

  2. Aww, this is so sweet. Happy birthday, R!