Two years ago, after 17 hours of labour, at 5:17 PM, my perfect 8.1 pound gorgeous baby boy graced this planet with his presence. The world’s been a better and brighter place since then. With his eyes wide open, clean as if he’d just had a bath, and a head full of hair neatly pulled to one side, he was ready for a photoshoot since day 1. I remember our first night at the hospital, when he laid next to me while I watched him sleep. I felt the rhythm of his breathing. I gazed at the precious swoop of his nose, the soft flutter of his eyelashes, the length of his fingers, the curves of his cheeks. I soaked in all the little details of him.      

I blinked, and it’s 2 years already. My baby boy turns two today, and my heart just keeps exploding with fireworks. Every time he smiles, every time his mischievous eyes twinkle. Even in the wee hours of night, I have nothing but love in my heart for his little human.      

I delight in him, more than I delight in anyone. I never thought that this is what parenting would feel like. Of course there are many, many, many, MANY moments of frustration too. Of boredom, of inconvenience, or of fear and doubt. The road hasn’t been easy. But we, as a family, have grown together to find a great equalizer. And I will take some (not all) credit for that.    

Continuing the tradition, I’m writing him a letter on his birthday, in a hope that he’ll read it someday.  You can read the first birthday letter to my son here.   
My dear love puddle Ansh,  

So, here we are, another year later. In some ways this year went by too slow, and in some it went by in a flash. The second year was so much different than the first. By the time you turned one, you weren’t walking, much less doing more than tripod crawl. But all the changed just after you turned 1.

You became an Olympic speed crawler, before we knew it you were walking, letting yourself into all our rooms, reaching on top of our counters, throwing balls for us to fetch, and getting into all kinds of trouble, including but not limited to bumping your gorgeous forehead at every turn. We also moved into a new city right after your first birthday, and your nani (grandma) was here to babysit you while mama and papa were house hunting and busy settling down.  

What hasn’t changed? You are still the most talkative person I’ve ever known. Not the most talkative kid – no, the most talkative human being on the planet. You go to sleep talking, and you wake up finishing the conversation you started. Not that we understand 50% of what you are saying. Your level of excitement is like nothing I have ever witnessed. Your dad and I, as well as everyone who knows you, get a very big kick out of how you can be excited about seeing a bus hundred times a day.  

Around 22 months, the tantrums went into full effect, but that was to be expected. Let’s just say, you know what you want, and when and how you want it. And when it gets difficult at times (mostly for us), your dad and I just let you finish your tantrum, maybe roll on the floor of a grocery store, or a toy store, cry, yell, and sometimes we take videos, and laugh. We have decided to not let it embarrass us, but rather laugh it off. You’ll laugh at it one day when you see these videos too (or maybe you’ll just boycott us).  

You are one of a kind, Ansh – and I’m not just saying that because you’re my son. You are so much fun to be around; your passion for life is contagious. You are so loved by people all around the world. You already have quite a fan following. I can’t even imagine what’ll happen when you’re a teenager. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle all the attention you’ll get. I’ll never know if it’s true or not, but I believe that even if you weren’t my kid I’d still want to play hide and seek with you, throw balls with you – just hang out with you! You’re that much fun to be around.  

No wonder, for your birthday, your loved ones are sending you hand written letters from all across the world. Remember, when you grow up, these hand written letters will be much more of a treasure than you can imagine. I’ll keep them safe with me till you are capable of not chewing them away.  

Your birthday party yesterday was a blast. We had it at a homeless shelter with a bunch of kids who might not have as much, but find happiness in so little. All those kids had a delightful time at your party and thanked you so many times for your wonderful gesture. It was very emotional. How else are you supposed to feel when people celebrate, cherish and marvel at the love of your life? You are already a giver, my love, and I want you to remember that there’s no religion bigger than “LOVE”. And that’s how I wish to raise you. Your religion is Love.  

So what’s next for you, my angel? The road ahead will be filled with trips to places like Disney World, Europe, Australia, India, and the Caribbean. Your education experience will open up a world of opportunities, and you will take advantage of whatever speaks to your heart. Our family unit will give you the security that every kid wants and deserves. Your challenges will help shape you into the amazing man I know you will become. If the first two years of your life serve as any indication of what the next two will bring, I have to just push my little bit of sadness aside and embrace the part of me that’s thrilled about your growth. As much as I may wish for my baby to remain a baby, I know you can’t be baby forever. You have to learn and explore.  

Your spark inspires me in ways that I will always be indebted for. I’m in awe of you. Why? Because you’re better than me in every way – much better. Funnier, smarter, more open, more intuitive, braver. I have days when I can’t believe that your dad and I created this human being who seems to be better parts of both of us.   I am the luckiest and proudest mom of the most beautiful and hilarious two-year-old. Everything I do in life, I do for you. (Please remember that the next time you throw a fit, or a toy car at my head.) There will be times in your life that you will probably hate me for nudging you or keeping you from doing something you want but please know that I have the best intentions.    

My message to you on your second birthday is simply this: You are awesome. Your boundless energy, your sweet demeanor, your creative spirit – it all comes together to make you a truly remarkable little human being. I feel privileged to be your mama. From a parent’s perspective, it doesn’t get any cooler than that. As you journey into the next year—which I’m sure will be the tremendous twos, with some terrible thrown in for good measure—I’m filled with anticipation to watch you become more and more uniquely you. My heart will be right there, growing alongside you, my love spreading to cover every new inch of you.  

I love you, my awesome son.

Mom and Dad