To my baby girl on her first birthday…

Dear Baby Girl,

Last night I rocked you to sleep in your room, the lights were low and I hummed the tune it seems I’ve been instinctively humming in your ear since you arrived a year ago.

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If you asked me to recreate the melody without you in my arms I don’t think I could, but with your cheek resting on my shoulder and my cheek resting on the soft fluff of the hair on your head, the song comes to me easily, like a breath or a blink or a sigh.

Baby, the way you’ve taken to this world has surprised and delighted me.

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Yesterday evening I fed you blueberries for the first time, and you couldn’t pick those sweet treats up fast enough, eager for the new taste, pushing all other food aside, squealing and kicking those chunky little legs until I gave you more.

I fed you so many blueberries I’m surprised you didn’t turn blue, and it’s likely your next diaper will have me paying for that choice, but man, little one, were you having fun.

And I guess, so was I.

Because your fun is my fun.

Your happy is my happy.

I get that now. And it’s beautiful and terrifying all at once, but when I close my eyes to find my own sleep at night, when the worries of mommies and daddies start creaking and pushing to fill the quiet space left for sleep, those are the kind of moments and memories I summon up to fight them.

Before you, I didn’t have that kind of weapon.

Because, baby, a year ago those legs that you were kicking so eagerly in that highchair were stretching and kicking the inside my belly.

I leaned back in chairs or in bed and watched. I grabbed your daddy’s hand so you could kick him, too, and we wondered who you might look like, when you might arrive and how our lives will change.

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What I didn’t know is that once everything changed, it would continue to change, every moment and every day.

And I wasn’t prepared for the ache that gets tucked in with the joys of the milestones. I didn’t know what a month does to a child, bringing you new teeth, new words and new hair, longer legs, bigger smiles, tighter hugs and a louder voice.

And the thread that connected us so tightly in the beginning unravels a little bit more.

Nine months felt like years when my body grew you, baby.

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Twelve months feels like a blink and you’re standing on those little legs, with one hand on the couch and the other reaching toward your daddy in the hallway. You hadn’t seen him all day, you wanted him to pick you up so you could take his cap off and try to put it on your head, so you stretched for him, his words encouraging you to let go of the couch and walk.

“You can do it, you can do it!”

And so you did.

Three little steps, just like that. He lifted you up, and we all clapped together in the kitchen.

Baby, on Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated your first birthday complete with decorations, cake and the entire family.

Last year on Thanksgiving we brought you home from the hospital, just the three of us. We were nervous and raw, uncertain and the most thankful we’ve ever been.

I didn’t think I could be more thankful than that.

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But you’ve proven me wrong.

A year later and every day it’s something new. You say “momma” and “dada”, “hi” and “bye” and “uh, oh,” your favorite of all. You wave, blow kisses and truly think you can read books by yourself and all of these are things that one-year-olds do, nothing’s so out of the ordinary for a baby your age, except every new discovery, every new challenge you master shows us how you are so uniquely, simply and innocently you in this world.

And as easy as a breath or a blink, a sigh or that song I hum to you at night, we love you baby. Happy Birthday.

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10 thoughts on “To my baby girl on her first birthday…

  1. You DO know you’re going to have to write this blog forever and ever, right? It would break my heart if you stopped. No pressure or anything! 😉 Happy first Birthday to your little sunshine!

    • I know! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this blogging thing since 2010! I’m working on a little book of my favorite stories and photos and it’s overwhelming to comb through it all, but so much fun to see how far we’ve come. Puts things in perspective on the rough days. Thanks for coming along on the journey. Much love from the snow covered tundra!

      • Watching your love spilling over for your precious baby is such a joy! Please publish your book–it would be a wonderful gift for prospective parents. Your child is receiving the adoration that every child in the world deserves. Your beautiful thoughts can encourage the rest of us to be more aware and move us to share with forgotten children in many ways.

  2. Lucky Edie to have a momma who writes her a love story every month or so; you and she (Daddy too!) will cherish these memories. Love this so much!!

  3. A Happy Birthday to Edie! She is growing fast! The series of photos show the personality developing in that beautiful little face. As one connection to her unravels with time, allowing her to grow up and be herself, another grows to bring her closer – the bond of mother to daughter, friends for life.

  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, wonderful year with us. You have made us all fall in love with your little ray of sunshine. Please continue to share. I hope you continue to do a monthly picture so we can see her progress. Even more important you are making a wonderful video diary that Edie will appreciate when she gets older.

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