Today you are one year old. I've been thinking a lot about this day lately, remembering moments from this time last year. At 11:00 p.m. last night, I recalled how Jeff and I stayed up all night timing the contractions. At 7:00 this morning I thought about driving to the hospital and calling our families to tell them the time had come. At 6:48 p.m. tonight I looked at Jeff and said, "Only eight more minutes of pushing." When 6:56 p.m. came along, the exact moment of your birth a year ago, I was reading you a story and thinking about how far we've come since that day:
You have turned our lives upside down and inside out in so many ways. In the last year, I have been more overwhelmed, worried, frustrated, confused, and sleep deprived than ever before. There have been moments of peace, happiness, and clarity along with moments of complete terror. Before you, before I was a mother, I thought my life made sense. Then you came along and I realized how much I didn't know about life and love.
For instance, I never knew that someone's smile could make me cry with happiness. Or that I could stay awake for three days straight and still manage to feel grateful for the one thing that's keeping me up. Or that I could talk so openly and unabashedly about the color and consistency of poop. For that matter, I never knew I could care so much about another person's gastrointestinal system at all. I never knew I could sing lullabies in the car, or walk and sway the same path through the house for hours on end, or wake up five times in the night just to stand over a crib and listen for the sound of breathing. Thank you for teaching me all of these things. Thank you for showing me what I never knew was missing.
I know you are just beginning to understand who you are. But we have known you and loved you for a year now, and you have made us smile and laugh every single day. You are happy, vibrant, and engaged. Everyone comments on your sweet disposition, big smile, and bright blue eyes. You love reading, music, talking, and bouncing. You can be very intensely focused and determined and often get a mischievous gleam in your eye. Your laugh is infectious. You get very excited and noisy when you're the center of attention, or when you see other babies and children. You squeeze and cuddle your stuffed animals and give kisses to the pictures in your books. You are such a blessing.
Happy first birthday, sweet girl. I'm already so proud of the person you are and can't wait to watch you continue to learn and grow. There is so much to look forward to.