Two Years of Charlie


Dear Charlie,

Even though you have been been on this Earth and part of our lives for two years now, still, there are so many days I look at your dad with a soft smile and marvel, “We have a daughter.” Still, there are so many days I look into your face and am surprised at how your smile leaves me breathless. Still, there days I am certain that my heart will leap right out of my chest with the surge of love I feel for you.

I look at pictures of you as an infant and curse my faulty memory for letting me forget a detail here or a tidbit there. I find myself saying things like, “Really?  She was that little?” At the time, I was certain I would remember every milestone, every discovery, because every new day with you has been so precious to me. But the memories become too many to count and too many to stay as sharp and vivid as I wish they would. Oh, how I wish they would! Time passes so quickly. Before I knew it, you emerged into this little person. And now you are two.

This second year of life has been one of amazement and wonder for the both of us. It seems you grow and learn almost exponentially each day. You chose your first favorite book, Goodnight Moon,  to be read to you over and over again at bedtime. When I would get to the line “…and a quiet old lady who was whispering…” I would pause just a moment, and together we would whisper “hush” and you would flash me a big proud smile.

Your vocabulary has really grown and you are saying and adding new words every day. For the longest time, you wouldn’t say the name of your best friend, our dog Friday; you simply called her “dog.”  We would laugh when I would take you off to bed and tell you to say good night to Dad and Friday, and you wave and say, “Night Daddy. Night dog.” You would call out from your crib,”Dog!” as if she could come and rescue you. Now you call her “Fridog.”  You started putting words together, and most recently your favorite combination seems to be, “No like nap!” You just started saying your own name and it’s my new favorite thing to listen to.

You are strong-willed and assert  your independence. You have definite ideas about which clothes to wear (or not!) and which sippy cup you want for your juice. You have no qualms about pushing me away so that you can do things for yourself, but you (like your mommy) can get easily frustrated.  At least you’re finally learning to ask for help instead of throwing tantrums, because, yes, you do that too. You are two, after all!

You are smart and spirited and you LOVE music. You dance and spin in front of the television whenever we’re watching Baby Einstein or Signing Time DVDs and often want me to dance with you. You climb up onto your rocking chair and turn on your nighttime lullaby music all by yourself. The same rocker that I would sit in to hold and feed you became the one in which we would sit side by side to read bedtime stories. But I now have to sit on the floor next to you and read them because you will no longer let me sit on the rocker with you.

You are affectionate, probably because your mother is and smothers you with kisses every day. I ask for kisses plenty, but I must confess that my favorite are those completely unsolicited ones that you surprise me with out of nowhere. They melt me. Every. Single. Time. You still have your daddy wrapped around your little finger and you and Friday are his girls.

This Christmas was made infinitely more special by watching you taking it all in. You were entranced by Christmas lights, and Daddy and I walked you around the neighborhood while you joyfully pointed and shouted “Lights!” at each new decorated house. You were fascinated by the Christmas tree with all its ornaments, and you watched Rudolph at least four times a day. You still ask for Santa. I can hardly wait until next year when you understand even more. But I have learned not to wish away the time with you. You are still my little girl.

You are a total animal lover and know which houses on the block have dogs and which have cats. You will kiss the animals in books and the ones on the television screen.

You love to play “ow-side” and can spend hours there.  Even the cold didn’t deter you and you played for three hours in the snow one day during our Christmas visit to Jersey. Hopefully, that will be home soon, and you can spend more days with more of your family who, like me, love you to pieces. Like your parents, you’re not a huge fan of large crowds, but seem to light up in the company of a small group of friends and family.

I know this letter is full of things that are just typical for a toddler. But you are my toddler. I write so that I remember. I write so that you will know. If someday you want to know what you were like as a little girl, or what it was like for me to raise you, perhaps from things I have written and photos and videos taken, you can piece together some understanding.  As much as try, words can never fully bring to light just how special and unique you are. So like moms do, I will work to treasure each day, each moment, each memory. I can only hope that if I have done my job and done it well, at the very least, you will know how very much you are loved.

You are my Muffin, and I love you.



  1. Lisa Kelly says:

    What a great post. Very sweet and touching but also very well written!


  2. ellen says:

    Read all the blogs they are fabulous as are you! I can’t believe Charlie is two, I can’t believe I’ve known you 13-14 years and I can’t believe you are leaving. I feel we have shared so much but never enough because there would always be time and you are like family.
    And now you get ready for your next adventure and I am not ready.
    I love you and cherish your words, kindness, friendship and love!


  3. Irene Landon says:

    Ah Kelly – I wish I had thought of writing for you and your sisters when you were little. You so excellently described your love for Charlie. While I may not have it down for all to see you could be sure that dad and I love you and your sisters as well. Charlie is a precious gift, a life’s bonus. She will always know that. Love, momxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  4. LeeWee says:

    This post actually brought tears to my eyes! I can’t wait to experience all of Charlie all of the time!


  5. Sharon says:

    Kelly, that was absolutely beautiful. Charlie is so lucky to have you as her mom.


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