It all goes by too fast. One moment you are trying to choose the right name, the next you are chasing a girl on a trike. Suddenly Maria is two. She is drawing and coloring and singing and dancing. She is delighting us with her wild ways and headstrong notions. She is charming us with her hugs, kisses and funny phrases. She plays with "bumbies" (bunnies) and before she slides or throws a ball she counts "one-two, one-two, nine, wheee, go!" She eats avocados and tomatoes, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. She likes to slurp the milk out of cereal. She likes to give the kitties their treats and greens to Joe, the bumby. Maria is feminine. Her nature says pink, lace, pretty shoes and baby dolls, dresses and mommy's scarves, a string of pearls, baubles and beads. Maria is a growing child. Her nature says climb, run, jump, explore, solve, inspect, push it, shake it, build it, then do it all over again. I say happy birthday baby girl. Happy birthday daughter, flower, funny child with the funny smile.