Dear John Paul,

You’re two years old today.

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And you are every bit of two years old.

You are into everything, and you never ever stop.  You are constantly at open speed, zooming around the house leaving a trail of destruction behind you.

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You love to make a mess.  You think it’s hilarious to turn the tv off while people are watching it, and you also think it’s funny to play in the dog bowls.  You splashed so much in the tub one night I had to hang the bath mat up to dry.  My walls have beautiful art at knee height from the night you found a permanent marker.  You broke my fantasy football trophy, and I’m waiting for you to fly through the glass panes of my grandmother’s china cabinet.  For a long time, the play pen was no longer for play – it was “baby jail.”

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You also throw things.  A lot.  And very well.  Your aim is spot on.  While I spy baseball and football in our future, I wait with baited breath for you to launch a milk cup through the tv.

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You’re always dirty.  I don’t know what you get into, but your face is always messy, there’s food on shirt, and you’re covered in bumps and bruises.

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I call you my Sour Patch Kid.  Because first you’re sour with your messes and spills and destruction, but then you’re sweet.

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You’re oh so sweet.  Like melt me into a big puddle and forget about all the messes kinda sweet.

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I’m such a sucker for you.  Especially when you run at full speed down the hall with arms wide open,yelling, “MA MAAAAAAAAAA” and bury your face into my knees and wrap me up tight.  Then you make me lean over, grab my cheeks, and plant a big kiss on my lips.

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And you’ve started saying, “Wub ooo Mama” when I tell you I love you.

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You could drink me through a straw if you wanted to.

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You’re so unbelievably full of life.  You live with gusto, as if everything is the best thing ever.  It’s the best food you’ve ever eaten, and the best tv show you’ve ever watched, and the best rainstorm you’ve ever heard, and the biggest truck that you’ve ever seen.  It’s the best day every day.

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I love that about you.  We can all learn a little from your excitement about life.

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I’ve always said that your sister is teaching me great patience.  You, sweet son, are teaching me great presence.

I have to be present with you all the time.  Mostly because if I’m not holding your hand or watching you like a hawk, you’ll go cliff diving or run out in traffic, or whatever is the next most dangerous thing.  But in watching you every second you are awake, I’ve learned to be present with you because time seems to go by quicker with the second baby.  I mean, I blinked and you turned two.  So I’m learning to spend more time treasuring the moments than the bigger span of time.

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Like the moment when you pretend to be mad, but you’re really just joking with me with no words.

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Or the moment you idolize your big sister so much, you put on her princess crown and carry her purses so that you can do what she’s doing.

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Or the moment you get excited to get out of the bath because you know we’re going to sing the Wubby Burrito song.

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Or the moment you met the Target Dog and almost died from being starstruck.

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Or the moment you finally slow down for just a moment and lay down on my chest, and breathe that big contented sigh while you recharge before your next adventure.

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Oh, how I love you.  And you love big.

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You love me like a little boy should love his mama.  You love snuggles and kisses and being on mama’s lap whenever you can.  You have a big crush on me, and that is evident in your affections.

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You love Daddy like he’s your best bud.  You are two peas in a pod – you really enjoy sitting beside him on the couch, eating snacks, and watching NASCAR.  You make quite the pair.  If it’s Dad’s night off, you are only about Dad.  I can’t blame you.

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You love Sissy like she has hung the moon.  You follow her around and do whatever Her Highness commands you to do.  When you wake up in the mornings, you point to her room, and ask, “Sissy?” to see if she is awake yet.  You play so well together, and it makes my heart happy to see your early friendship.

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You are loved in return by so many.  Everyone talks about how sweet you are, and how cute you are.  You are certainly all those things.

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Your first name, John, means “God is gracious,” and your middle name, Paul, means “humble.”  Your life aligns so well with those two things.  We are humbled that God has been so gracious in entrusting you to us.  We get to witness your little life for as long as God allows us to, and that is such an honor.  You are bigger and better than I could have ever imagined it would be to have a son of my own.

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Your name may be John Paul, or JP by most, but you are most importantly our “Wubs.”  The Wubs that completes our family.  The Wubs that keeps us laughing.  The Wubs that is learning and growing by leaps and bounds.  The Wubs that I pray over every night when I lay you down to sleep.  The Wubs that will one day grow to be a great man who will still love life with every passing second.

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You are my dream, sweet Wubs.  I love you.  Thank you for our biggest blessings for the past two years.  Happy birthday, my son!

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