I am writing this letter to you today, on the eve of your first birthday (at work so your Mommy doesn’t giggle at me for tearing up), to tell you what an amazing 12 months this has been.
When you are pregnant you always imagine what life will be like once your baby arrives. Will they nurse well? sleep well? crawl early? talk late? What will their giggle sound like? Who will they smile at first? Am I ready for this? Questions swim around in your head daily and then when the baby arrives, they only multiply 🙂
Were we ready for all that parenthood had to offer? Absolutely not. It has been one of the hardest, most rewarding things and every day there is something new and different. The challenges outweigh the joys and, oh what a joy you have been!
You always the best for your child. But that isn’t always reality. Sure, every day we make sure you are happy and have things to do to enhance your development and creativity, but “best” doesn’t exist. Nothing is the best or the worst, they are all just different. If I had to think of the “best” day of your first year, I couldn’t narrow it down, because every day has great moments. And sad moments. And quiet moments. No one day is better than another. Every day with you is wonderful and unique.
What I know now is that every day is something to cherish and remember. I have learned to live in the present, rather than the what-ifs in life. I have learned to put my phone out of my reach when we are playing so I am not distracted, and to sit on the floor in a pile of dog hair, dirt and spittle in my white work pants when I get home — and to be ok with it. It is not about the pants, or the text messages or the new magazine in the mail. It is about watching you push your toy grocery cart around the house. It is about seeing you giggle as you pet the dogs. It is about seeing the huge smile that spreads across your face when you take independent steps towards me. Those moments are the ones that are important.
The past twelve months have been magical. You have grown from a newborn who nursed every 2 hours to a toddler who crawls around with her sippy cup in her hand. Your unicorn toy which was once your favorite toy has gathered dust in your toy box, replaced by a toy in which animals pop-up when you push a button (you can correctly point to the panda, elephant and monkey when asked), which results in countless giggles and animal noises. You have expanded your vocabulary from gurgling sounds to mama, mom, mamamamama (food or drink), da (dog), up, pop, buuuhhhhk (book), duck and a vast variety of animal sounds, hand motions and some good ole fashioned head shaking. You amaze us every day.
I am certain that I speak for your Mommy too when I say that we are so incredibly proud and humbled to call you our daughter. You are a sweet and kind little girl who eagerly gives out kisses, hugs and smiles all day long. You are curious, and yes, sometimes defiant (you may still not play in the dog’s water dish!) and that makes you all the more interesting. And you are smart, Lillian. Very smart. Your development and abilities amaze us constantly!
My wish for you is that you embrace all of your qualities as you grow and know that your smile can light up a room, your inquisitiveness will produce great results and your intellect will get you far.
Thank you for giving me the greatest gift of all — motherhood.
I love you.