Dear Marcella,

We are in the middle of a scorching heat wave- I knew Italy would be hot but whoa! Which of course means it’s time for your birthday my little summer baby.

You were born on the hottest day of the year in Seattle (It was maybe 92, which in Bologna doesn’t even register as anything but your regular old August day). It’s hard to believe that was two years ago… it both seems longer and shorter than that.

August 12, 2017

Your second year on earth has been a doozy. Your foolhardy wanderlusting parents moved you to the literal opposite side of the world. You started daycare, in a language you don’t know, with people you’ve never met. You’ve been on countless flights and trains. You’ve handled it all with aplomb. Seriously, you are a trooper- durable and versatile as can be. You have thrived more than anyone with our move, and you probably speak the most Italian of anyone in this family so far.

Watching you grow from zero- 12 months was an amazing physical change, but watching you go from 1 year to 2 has been an astounding feat of mental growth. Yes, you got bigger, but this is also the year you became a person.

This is the year you learned to run and climb and dance and spin. This is the year you learned how to talk, and you chatter all day- some of it intelligible, some of it less so. You started this year with a handful of words “duck,” “cheese,” “dada.” Now you are speaking in complete sentences, learning words at a fantastic rate. Sometimes we are just shocked by the things that come out of your mouth, like the other day when you clearly spelled out B-L-I-P-P-I. You are constantly changing and evolving.

You are now a full-blown toddler, and not always easy to deal with. You have BIG emotions that you don’t fully understand or know how to express. You cry and scream frequently, you are stubborn as hell and you know how to push all our buttons. You sometimes hit and pinch, and are mean to Leo. We are working on it, but some days your Dad and I both need a stiff drink by bedtime.

It’s not all bad though. At 2 years old you have a great sense of humor- your jokes are usually of the slapstick physical variety- like fake sneezing to mock Leo, or spinning until you fall over.  You love to sing- both real and made up songs. You can be startlingly compassionate: you sense any physical or emotional distress in your Dad or I and are quick with a hug and a “you OK?” You are an expert cuddler. Nobody can stay mad at you for long.

You still aren’t a great sleeper but hey, nobody is perfect. I think you just have severe FOMO and can’t stand missing out on anything.

At 2 years, you love: animals, especially cats (meows) and owls (hoo hoos). Blippi to the point of obsession, we have to beg to watch anything else. Trains (choo choos). Books. All kinds of food but especially olives, blueberries, yogurt and hummus. Lately you are really into ice cubes, which is a pretty perfect obsession when it’s 96 degrees out.

It’s hard to know what Year 3 will hold, but I can guess a few things: potty training (yay), more words, more learning, more fun and quirky and interesting days here in Italy. And of course more travel: Mexico, the US and Austria for sure, and you’ll probably rack up a few other European countries before your birthday rolls around again.

Marcella, it’s a privilege to watch you learn, and to explore the world with you. I can no longer imagine things any other way. It’s a privilege to be your Mom.

Love, Mom

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About Me

I’m a girl who can’t sit still. After nearly a decade of flitting around the world as a professional blogger and travel writer, I’ve settled into expat life in Bologna, Italy. I have a handsome husband, a floppy dog, and the best two year old in the world.

I blog professionally at Why Wait To See the World, and unprofessionally right here.