When I was a little girl my daddy would often sing You Are My Sunshine to me. 

Now that I’m a parent I fully understand how much happiness and sunshine children bring.

I’ve written a lot about my grief and sadness. I continually remind you (and myself) that JOY is a choice. 

 Some days choosing joy feels like this…


But most days joy comes easily. You both wake up with smiles on your faces. Neala’s cuddles and Lincoln’s toothless grin help joy burst through my grief like a ray of much needed sunshine. 

Neala, you are almost two.  You make me laugh out loud multiple times a day with your silly expressions and crazy dance moves. You repeat every word you hear, including “crap” and “daggonit”. You love dressing up in pretty dresses, but also enjoy working in the garden with me. (And by working, I really mean getting as dirty as possible.)

 You are ridiculously independent when it comes to putting on your own shoes, even if they’re on the wrong feet. 

Your recent obsession is Ziplock baggies.  You insist on opening them and shoving small toys inside. We had to move the gallon baggies because once you discovered them, you wanted to put everything you owned inside.

You put on your shoes, grab a purse (or a Ziplock) and keys and tell us, “Ok, love you. Bye.” Then you jump on your Pinkalicious car, head to the door and tell us you’re going to JoJo’s or Kimi’s. I think if we gave you real keys you would attempt to drive.

Your favorite songs right now are “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Hot Diggity Dog” and “Watch me Whip Nae Nae”. You love bopping around the house singing, “Bwake yo legs.”

 You are fearless and sassy, and I already see a leader emerging in you.
Lincoln, you are in one of my favorite stages right now.  You smile and coo and roll over.  But you can’t crawl or walk yet. And you can’t tell mommy, “No.”  Truly, a great stage.

Your cheeks are round and plump like Santa Claus. Every day they get a little more chubbier. We put you on your belly to practice head and neck control. But those cheeks!  They weigh you down every time.

It’s hard work holding up those cheeks all day.

The two of you keep me moving nonstop. When Lincoln is napping, Neala is all systems go. 

You go into super chatty mode, which admittedly you get from me. 
“Mama, nummy.” So we get a snack.
“Mama, mawkus.” So we listen to “music” and you tap dance. 
“Mama, Minnie Moushe and Daizhee.”
So we watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and dance to the hotdog song.

After your long, heaven sent afternoon nap we do it all over again.  128 times.

Sometimes you just want to sit on the couch and read books. Only your pronunciation of “sit” needs a little tweaking. Your version sounds like a curse word.

I love seeing the two of you interact. Lincoln, you sit and watch Neala as she romps around the living room.  Your eyes track her every move.  

Your face lights up every time she comes near you. Well, almost every time. 

Since you’re not mobile yet, big Sis is taking full advantage. 

(Mommy may or may not have helped her put polka dot pants on you.)

Don’t worry, one day you’ll be bigger than she is and can take your revenge. 

Being your mother is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  Thank you for making mama laugh. For giving me a reason to smile. For truly making me happy when skies are gray. 


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