all this time we’ve been keeping track of your lifespan from birth in terms of months, and now we must make the switch to years. the question comes more and more steadily. “how old is she?” you’re making yourself known, baby girl. you are so pleasant and inquisitive and verbal. on the drive to Paia today your voice sounded from the backseat, “do you miss daddy, mama?” and it was so sweet and out of the blue. You said, “I miss him too.” I think he’s your favorite person. when the phone rings, your eyes light up because you know its him. he spent your birthday week with us, spoiling you with books, markers, dresses, thomas the train (your current love) and a red horse. every morning we opened presents and even still, your blue and white stripe bathing suit is special—you scream, “that’s my birthday suit,” whenever you see it.
you still love going to the beach. if we’re hanging at the house for too long, you’ll look up and say, “go to the beach?” with the most expressive, beckoning eyes. you love turtles (honu) and sometimes, in the evening time, right before dark we visit hookipa to watch the turtles come ashore to sleep. you point to the baby turtles and say, “ooooooh the baby,” in a sad voice. you sing all the time. you’ve nearly mastered the a, b, c’s. we love when you say La la la la P. I don’t want you to change, Lorea! When I’m holding you and you want me to listen, you grab my face gently with your two small hands and your nose practically touches mine and you say the words you want me to hear (are we going to Mana? tutu got that for me. what you doing mama?). whatever you do, you don’t want to do it alone. “come on! I wanna show you something” as you lead us to your book shelf or towards the fridge for a snack or outside to play in the grass. we stare in wonder at the beautiful, happy baby girl we have and breathe in every inch of you. we love you beyond measure. we love you like crazy. happy birthday to you.