Today’s post is a part of the Blog Exchange.
Special thanks to Jodi for her beautiful tribute.

Today is Michael’s second birthday. 731 days ago Michael did not exist.

There are things I wish I had known before Michael was born, things that all the reading and birthing classes don’t prepare you for. I had no idea what being a parent was like. I didn’t know what it meant to be “a family.” I didn’t know that someone else being sick, or getting hurt, could break my heart. I didn’t know “I love Mommy” would be my favorite sentence to hear.

No one ever told me that one of my favorite people in the world would be less than 3 feet tall. I had no idea that you genuinely like your child. I knew you always loved your child, but that you genuinely liked them, as a person, came as a surprise to me. I had no idea how fast it all disappears. That in an instant they go from squaling infant, to a toddler, to an adult. It is that quick. I had no idea how much my mother loved me, that this is what it feels like to love a child. It is an all consuming love that becomes a part of you like your hair or your eyes. The love becomes who you are.

Nothing prepares you for the sleepless nights, the crying, and the endless worry. Nothing prepares you for the immense love, the laughter, and the way your life changes in an instant. Less than an instant. No matter how much you plan, you just don’t know until it happens.

Gone is his babyness. And I miss that. I miss the cuddles, the baby smell, and the big toothless grin. Now, he is all boy. He loves trucks, dinosaurs, and the movie Cars. He loves to run and jump and go to playgrounds. He loves the dog and his Daddy. And he has an opinion on everything, and will share it with you, or anyone who will listen.

Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the boy, of the man he will be. He will be tall like his Daddy. He will be kind (I hope). He will be smart (he already is). And I think he his going to love music and books, at least he does now.

I try to remember that he is only little once. That the whining and refusing to eat will not last forever. That every time he says “come play Mommy” could be the last, and even if I have something else to do I should play with him. In a few years he will not want to play with me. He will be a smelly teenager that wants to play ball and with his computer and will say “yes Mom” in an attempt to dismiss me.

More than anything, I want Michael to be happy. I want him to have love, like the love his father and I have. I want him to be close to his parents, like I am. I want him to have good friends, and a career he likes. And I want him to never doubt how much his father and I love him.

Happy Birthday to my monkey, my Michealest. I can’t imagine what my life would be had you not come into it.

This post is part of The Blog Exchange. Jodi is mom to an almost 2 year old, a part-time lawyer, and wife. She blogs at Jodifur about all these things and many more. Please visit her terrific site, and you will see Amanda’s post!