An Open Letter to Coraline “Jones” Dukes

Today, you turned 2 years old. I am both astounded and horrified that you’re already another year older.

Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve had a 2 year old that I wholeheartedly believe that you are an absolute genius. (Or, it may just be because I’m your mother.) Let me list the ways:

    • You know and regularly use close to 200 “signs” (in American Sign Language).
    • You know your colours (although you still get pink and purple confused sometimes) and can sign them all.
    • You can count to 10, both out loud and with sign language.
    • You recognize all of the letters of the alphabet, along with their respective signs.
    • You are already an amazing gymnast. You regularly climb on top of your little car all the way up to the handlebars, then proceed to balance yourself on the handlebars on the tiptoes of ONE FOOT, just to reach things we intentionally try to keep out of your reach. (Like the television remote, wet wipes, vodka, whatever.)
    • You idolize your big brothers. You always walk around the house asking (i.e., yelling) for Todd while he is at school during the day. You get so happy when you see him walk through the door because you know that means it’s time to play. You do the same thing with Logan.
    • You are an incredible climber! More than once I’ve caught you sitting in the middle of the kitchen table because you’ve climbed up onto a dining room chair to reach the table’s surface. (Our kitchen table approximately 4.5 feet tall.)
  • At your party today, you single-handedly astounded Great Papa by counting to 10 out loud. You shocked Papa and Gramom by naming all of the coloured polka dots on the wrapping paper your gift was in. You made Great Grandmama laugh at the way you are so particular sometimes (OK, all the time).

    But here’s the news of today’s heartbreak: When I came to scoop you up out of bed first thing this morning, instead of allowing me to do so, you threw your leg over the bar of your crib and shimmied down to the floor, all on your own. It was gut-wrenching to witness this, but it was also incredible to see how confident you are in all of your amazing, glorious, precocious, 2-year-old self.

    I couldn’t be any prouder or more awestruck at how lucky we are to have you as our daughter.

    I love you fiercely, Coraline Grayson Dukes. Happy 2nd Birthiversary.

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