She makes me laugh.
Last night, walking home from daycare, we were passed by an open-topped double-decker bus full of tourists, its outside painted bright red like one of its London counterparts.
"Oh my GOODNESS!" she cried from her stroller, "A firetruck! A firetruck with" - she started to giggle - "PEOPLE UP THERE!" She giggled more and more, "What people doing up there, Firetruck?"
I laughed, she laughed, the couple nearby laughed.
A house on our daily route to daycare has a small angel statue in the front garden. Throughout winter and early spring, she’d ask me to stop the stroller so she could see it. Then, as spring advanced, so did the flowers and bushes in the garden and when we stopped one day the angel was devoured by flora, away from sight.
"Where’s angel?" she asked me. I told her it was behind the bushes. "Angel is hiding," she said, thoughtfully. Then she laughed. "Silly angel!" Now every time we pass the house, we have a good laugh at the hiding angel. Sometimes she asks where the blue car is. If there’s no blue car nearby on the street, it’s hiding too. Silly blue car.
She loves trucks and Pooh Bear and fountains. She dances and jumps on the bed and sits in front of the fireplace and pretends to warm her hands. She hugs us and tells us she loves us and she does the same to Rabbit and Pyjama Bear and Plex Robot and it’s no less adorable. She recognises her name written down and can read most letters but she still gets 3 and E mixed up. She pretends to make food in the kitchen and if you ask her what she’s cooking she says “Couscous and hummus and crackers.”
It’s hard to believe we’ve known her a full two years - the length of time my wife and I spent in Japan, a length of time that felt like a lifetime.
And yet: It’s hard to believe we’ve only known her for two years, because it feels like we’ve known her forever.
Happy birthday Audrey. The last two years have been a blast, I can’t wait to see what the rest hold.