To my little e, on her first birthday…
Well baby girl, this is the first of many birthdays and I’m really not quite sure how to memorialize such an important event. I always wanted to be a mommy, you know. But I never knew how challenging and rewarding it would be. And I never knew that I would bare and meet the sweetest, smartest, funn-est, and most charismatic girl I’ve ever known. I promise you, little girl, that while I am biased, I am not stretching the truth here. You are a gem. You make me laugh and you make my heart burst and break constantly and often simultaneously.
You are quirky and you love people in a way I’ve never seen a baby love people. You interact and engage with everyone you meet. You seem to share stories and secrets with all individuals, young and old.
I find you wise beyond your years, little girl. You’re happier than any person I’ve ever met, and it seems to simply be your disposition. You are independent minded and you are stubborn to a fault. Your interest in food is negligible, but your interest in people is palpable.
You love to dance, my little girl; which makes me know for sure that even though you are blond and fair and look all things your daddy, you are definitely mine. And that trait, no matter what anyone says, comes from me.
Things were not always easy for you in this last year. Your belly was often upset after you ate – and you had reflux something fierce. You cried only out of pain. Otherwise you never complained. You are the strongest, most adaptable girl I’ve ever met. You rarely complained, even though to hold you against me was to know how upset and turbulent your tummy could get.
You are also very musical and love to play the maracas, the xylophone, and the keyboard. And you shake your head like Stevie Wonder as you play – or you shake your behind…Or both…It’s amazing you don’t fall down out of dizziness.
You are a busy girl, little e – always looking for new things to conquer and new people to engage. Your smile lights up everything – and there’s a sparkle in your eye that says you know more than you let on – and that you’re a wee bit mischievous.
When you sleep you are the cutest. You hold on to two of your three soothers and you suck on that third one, breathing heavily with conviction. But, little girl, what also leads me to believe you are an old soul, is the fact that you have nightmares already. What could a baby girl who’s not yet a year, possibly be frightened of? We may never know. But you cry so hard and are so heartbroken and fearful, it kills me.
Little baby girl, I never want to forget this year, and how it has changed me and helped me grow. I never want to forget all the wonderful phases you’ve grown through, or how you once nursed for hours on end. That bond is impenetrable. It killed me when we had to stop. I never want to forget your hugs, your nuzzles, the way you climb my leg and put your head on my shoulder when you are tired.
I want to always remember the excitement you show when confronted with a new pillow – how you throw your whole self onto it with such exuberance. And how the bed is the vastest and most amazing place to you – you love to fall, to roll, and to fall again.
I want to remember your tickle spots – when I put my nose to the center of your back or to our belly – you crumble in laughter and ticklesh-ness (if there were such a word). You love to do somersaults off your mommy – much to the fear of your daddy who thinks we play too rough. You are a physically fit little girl – one who has little fear – a gymnast at heart, I am sure!
The characteristic you’ve maintained the longest is your droning sound of concentration: when something has caught your attention, intrigued and puzzled you, you make a droning sound, you furrow your brow and you are concentrated completely on solving some strange mystery. Nothing else matters. It is fascinating watching you work through your thoughts and try to understand new toys and things.
But little e, most of all, what I never want to ever forget is your baby laugh. That delighted giggle that is almost constant. You understand jokes, and you laugh at your favourite cartoon (and doctor Oz for some reason?) – But you are always, always laughing. Mostly you laugh at your dad – you and he? You have a very special bond. You’re each other’s silly-ness instigators! And you laugh when you catch us watching you – that really tickles you!
You have brought more joy and heartache to me than I’ve ever before known. You are my heart. You are my joy. You are the best little person I could have ever hoped to meet and call my own.
I love you.