Dear Alice Holland

Dear Alice Holland,

Today is your second birthday.

It’s really cliche to talk about how amazing it is that two years have already passed since you got here, how time flies, etc.  But, as Chuck Klosterman (someone who is probably irrelevant by the time you’re reading this) says: “Important things are inevitably cliche, but no one wants to admit that.”  So, I’ll proceed with all the cliches.

One of the things that surprises me about being a mother is how much I genuinely enjoy spending time with you.  You are hilarious, and now that you are talking more (as opposed to just grunting and pointing at things and then moving them around five hundred times), your dad and I are seeing so much of your sense of humor.  The other day, you told me a fine story about how there were purple horses in our yard, and how desperately you wanted to ride one.  You are a singer, and the singing that I most love is when you are playing by yourself, and you are just really going to town on Twinkle, Twinkle or the ABCs.  Giving it your all.  It’s just wonderful to listen to.  You are so bossy, and I love that about you.  I love that you know what you want and you aren’t afraid to try and get it.  I know that will fade as you grow older, but your confidence (in most things) is so fun to watch right now.

Speaking of confidence, you have little confidence in the funniest things.  You are kind of coming around to puppies, but if they get to close, you still say (with your Hand of Sass out in front of you): “No, no puppy dog!  Go way, puppy dog!”  And we can tell you’re scared, but you fight through it and you make sure that dog stays the heck away from you.  Which is hilarious, because it’s a puppy and all it wants to do is lick your little face.  But, you’re not to be reasoned with in this matter.

As you’ve gotten older, discipline has become more and more of a necessity.  You are (how shall we say this?) strong-willed, and time-outs are a regular thing at the Moon house.  You sit so dejected on your time-out rug, sometimes you cry.  But when it’s over, you’re learning to say ‘sorry,’ and you just bounce back like nothing ever happened.

You like to announce things.  Some of your favorite announcements are:
“It’s hot!”
“Mommy, it’s hot!”
“Daddy TISS!”
“Mommy TISS!”
“Drink of water!”
“Oh my word!”
“Watch Elmo’s World!”
“Dirty diaper!”
“I pooted!”

We’re all very proud of these announcements, especially the last couple.  We like them best in large, public places with lots of people.

You love to read, and I know this is a specific gift from God to me.  It’s hysterical that you want to read space books and 4th grade textbooks on the Moon.  You point at things and say, “What’s this?” and we answer, “That’s a black hole,” and you say, “black hooooole.”  You still get excited when you see the Moon, and since it’s summer right now, you don’t see him often.  But when you do, it’s a party.

Watching you grow cracks my heart into a million pieces every day.  I love that you run everywhere, I love that you play practical jokes on us, I love that you smush your face into the sides of your crib when you sleep at night.  There’s no way you’re comfortable, right?

I absolutely, positively cannot believe that you are two years old.  It’s incredible to me that you were a tiny baby two years ago, mad as hell about getting a bath (some things never change), and completely brand new to the entire world.  You were in the baby warmer, just clutching your dad’s finger, and we were just so incredibly in love.  We were less in love when you refused to sleep that night (jokes!), but I’ll never forget the feeling of being in awe of life in just that way.  It hasn’t ever gone away, that feeling, and I wonder if it ever will.

We’re so grateful for you.  So grateful to have been here from the beginning, to know what you sounded like when you cried for the first time.  And to know what it sounds like when you yell about your dirty diaper in the middle of Publix.  It’s all a big, happy mess; we love it both equally.

When I was in high school, I read a poem by a man named e.e. cummings.  Because I was in high school, and I thought I knew everything, I assumed this poem was about two people in love, that wanted to get married.  But now, when I read it, although I am not a poem-scholar, I think Mr. cummings must have been a parent, because he captured so perfectly how your dad and I feel about you and who you are.  Here’s just the first few lines, because that’s really the kicker for me.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

- e.e. cummings

If I could give you one piece of two year old advice, I’d say stay two for as long as you can.  I want you to be a child for a little bit longer than you probably want to, but you have the rest of your life to be an adult, so just play with bubbles and make up stories about purple horses in the yard for as long as you want.  I’m ok with it.

It’s so much fun to be your mommy, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.  I hope it’s full of popsicles, Owly the Owl, yogurt, space books, and trips to the zoo.

I love you,


Category: Holland

2 Responses to Dear Alice Holland

  1. Ashley Mills

    I’m crying like a baby. Wish I knew sweet Holland. She sounds like a blast.
    Erin, you are such a talented writer. It’s ridiculous. Please write a book someday….and you can dedicate it to me. ;)

  2. Well, I’m apparently a little behind on catching up on your blog, seeing as how this was written in JULY.

    However, I’m with Ashley – tears are running down my face.

    So very well said, friend…. isn’t this parenthood gig wonderful, crazy, hard and so very rewarding? Miss Holland sounds like a true joy to be around. I hope to get to meet her someday!

    And what’s this Owly the Owl you write about??? Does Jackson need this book?!

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