My daughter Raquel turns two today. The duality of every thought and feeling about today is unshakable. It was both the fastest and the slowest two years. She is my third child, so the first year seemed to fast forward amidst the hustle of our lives, while the second year seemed to move in slow motion during quarantine and our now diluted days.
I am overjoyed to watch Rocky grow and her personality take shape (she is tough and hilarious and she knows so her name suits her), yet I feel sad to say goodbye “the baby.” Perhaps it was quarantining with 3 toddlers, but 2020 was the year we decided that we are done.
She is our last baby. Since 2015, there has always been the one that we often refer to as “the baby.” There has always been at least one in diapers, half the years spent with two 10 pound Honest subscriptions dropped like boxes of bricks at our doorstep.
She had the Frozen 2 birthday party of her dreams, but it was just our family. It was perfect, especially since she doesn’t exactly have friends yet: she has spent half her life in quarantine and all of her activities in which she would make her first friends have been canceled. Even still, she is needing me less. Even still, she is so attached to me. Probably because of the former. Or is it because she know she is my last? Or will she be “the baby” forever?
In actuality, it wasn’t quarantining with my rambunctious trio that sealed our fate as a family of five. It was the definitive sense that we were all “here.” If you’re not there, I see you, and I honor you.
I know first hand that watching my children age is a privilege. Yet it still breaks my heart in two.