Photo by  Chris Francis

Photo by Chris Francis

Zora turned two last weekend. The demands of my teaching program had me sending out last minute invites for a backyard bbq, making last minute cancellations on the last minute invites, and opting for a low pressure situation. Because let’s face it: when I’m only seeing her for two hours on any given weekday, feeling low on intimacy with my husband, and making sleep deprivation a lifestyle - the last thing I want to do is blow the bank to host guests for countless hours (knowing Zora gets anxious around too many people), only to clean up after those same people and find myself exhausted. The alternative? Meeting at a lake, soaking up some sun, and picnic’ing by the water. No hosting and getting the house in order. No crazy expenses aside from buying enough groceries to fill a cooler / feed a handful of people. Folks get to lounge around in their bathing suits. Zora gets to splash in some water (her jam!) with familiar faces surrounding her. There's no mess to clean up afterwards. Everybody wins! 

My leisure time is pretty limited these days, so every second counts. I've very much been honoring my vibe and asking myself "WWJamilaDo?" (note: Jamila is my MOST carefree girlfriend, who makes a point of never involving herself in something she doesn't want to be doing.) Though I'm missing the abundance of down time, I appreciate it requiring me to be intentional about how and with whom I invest my energy. My thoughts haven't been coming to me in ways that I can't properly relay in a succinct post, but before forgetfulness wins, and I blink and find myself at Zora's next party, I want to document the little things happening these days that make me feel full.. or make me say, "Damn. I'm really raising a little human."

  • Zora didn't start calling me mommy until Mother's Day, this year. Prior to, she called both of her parents (and anyone else) Daddy. We just had to know who she was actually speaking to at any given time. Best Mother's Day gift ever!

  • She had a brief fixation with making sure doors were closed behind her. It was random and may be on its way out, but I was here for it.

  • This year, while I was replaying the video of Zora's birth (yeah, I'm that mom), she came and sat on my lap. Looking at the video (I was mid-push, and her head had crowned) and then at me, she said, “Good job, Mommy.” Multiple times. I swear she knows.

  • During this same viewing, she also started crying (seemingly) out of nowhere. I attributed this to two year old crankiness. My grandmother attributed it to cell memory. I get chills trying to imagine what she was thinking if she was, in fact, recalling being born.

  • Chris and I used to make a habit of giving her a kiss and then kissing each other before putting her down for bed at night. We want her to see her parents displaying affection regularly and have that be the final imprint on her mind at bed time. Nowadays, we don't always have to ask. She'll demand kisses from us, instead. Like, "Aye, I'm going to bed. Kiss me." I've never appreciated a demand for kisses more.

  • Though she's been fully weaned from breastfeeding since being 21 months, boobs are still her place of comfort. When she's sad, her hand goes right into my shirt. She legit placed her eye to my nipple today before laying down on my chest. Kids are weird.

  • She's super feisty when it comes to what she wears. The girl has an opinion about everything (no guessing where she got that from.) Hence, you may see her in rain boots during beautifully bright weather. Consider it evidence that I'm learning to choose my battles. On the flip, once she's dressed, she stares at herself in the mirror with adoration. Baby girl has self-celebration on lock, already.

  • Preparing to really find a daycare/school for her has my anxiety at an all time high and feels like the first real parenting decision I've had to make, thus far. Prior to this part of our journey, I've been blessed in feeling intuitively guided in motherhood. All blame and praise goes to the ancestors, because I know that's not everybody's story.

  • Since our trip in Costa Rica, she has low level car anxiety. To put herself at ease, she wants you to rub her leg. If we try to move it in any direction (because it's not the least bit comfortable), she'll promptly readjust our hand to where she needs it to be. It's annoying, but I love her ability to vocalize what she needs to feel comfortable and the remedy being a loving touch from her parents.

  • She also likes for me to sing to her when she finds herself stuck in the car for longer than she likes. This usually results in all three of us being in the car yawning, but I only ever sing Somebody Prayed for Me. It's been my go to song since she was born, and today she started singing along with me. Chris and I were in the front seat just grinning.

  • Homegirl loves to dance. If she yells dance break, everyone is expected to bust a move.

  • She's recently entered a "no" phase (which is only fair since she had a "yes" phase.) However, if you ask for help or want her to share something with you, her usual response is, "Sure." It tickles me every time.

I'm "sure" there's more, but I've got a lesson plan due in 57 minutes and need to act like it. These days are steadily filled with things to do, but how good is it to find yourself growing as time progresses? I'm usually super reflective when my birthday rolls around, but having Zora as a human measure of growth - both literal and metaphorical - is a blessing I never forget to count.