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We’ve all survived Year One

Dec 1, 2017 by

We’ve all survived Year One

I don’t think anyone realizes how fast a year can go until they are staring into the eyes of their child on their first birthday.

 

My Juliet,

Gosh, Yesterday, I couldn’t even think about you being a one year old. Last week, as the days kept creeping up on me, the weight of knowing you are not a baby anymore kept squishing the air out of my lungs. Now that the day is here, I find myself longing to keep you a squirmy baby forever. And, therein lies the problem, you are desperate and determined to grow up, while all momma wants is to keep you little. How is it possible that this wild, independent, almost-toddler was ever the helpless little bundle we brought home from the hospital? A year ago on this day, we didn’t know you. We loved you, but we didn’t know you. It amazes me that there was ever a moment when we didn’t know the spirited, little beast who has stolen our hearts forever. You have surprised me with your awesomeness… although with Daddy and I as your parents, how could you not be awesome?

Those early days are kind of a blur now, and I know you won’t remember them. But we will…that first time you giggled and I sprinted down the stairs to tell your daddy: we almost toppled down the stairs and he didn’t believe me anyway because you wouldn’t do it again. (But my heart soared, and the sound of your laughter will forever be my favorite noise.) Or when you first rolled over on the dining room table in front of Aunt Katie and Grandma and Grandpa, we cheered and applauded so loud we pretty much scared the shit out of you. But we were so proud. Or your first real belly laugh. Your first time on a swing and the absolute joy on your face…Or when at 6 months you were already able to feed yourself in your high chair, and would give us an inquisitive eyebrow raise when you liked a new flavor. Then suddenly you were crawling…and taking those first wobbly steps and no matter how many times you’ve fallen over you get right back up to try again. I admire your determination.  I am amazed by you.

You know, I was scared I was going to screw this whole thing up. Every single day while I was pregnant with you I was scared out of my mind. Having no idea how to take care of a baby is a pretty daunting hill to climb. And… well, I do screw up (as I’m sure you know), pretty much daily. Babies are hard. You’ll find out one day. There’s mountains of laundry, really horrifying diapers, and tears (yours and mine) that happen for inexplicable reasons. I don’t know that I have slept a solid night in nearly two years, and we’ve spent more than half of this year without daddy too! (His job as a soldier has taken him away for training, and schools and deployment.) But being your mom has been such a joy, and the greatest blessing…  I still don’t know what I did to deserve you. And now I look at the amazing tiny human you’re becoming – smart, funny, curious, a bit on the sassy side – and I can’t help but think that we must be doing something right.

 

How is it possible to love you this much? Click To Tweet

 

I can barely keep up with you now. Of course, being 32 weeks pregnant has something to do with that. But, people don’t believe me when I tell them that you never (EVER) slow down unless you’re strapped into your high chair. You’re crawling as fast as you can (hoping someone will chase you), tormenting the dogs, pulling all your books off the shelf, pointing at and grabbing everything, picking things up, laughing like crazy. Your energy is incredible.

And, although I may be a bit biased, you are the most beautiful baby I have ever laid my eyes on.  You have this sparkle in your eyes that draws strangers to you, melts hearts, captures audiences. When you smile your whole face lights up and so do the faces of everyone around you as you clap and wave and high-five strangers. I love that you wave at those strangers, that little wave is like magic. Cranky, hurried people in the grocery store can’t help themselves but to stop and wave back at the bubbly, little, blondie grinning up at them.  I don’t have to be biased to know that you have an amazing amount of charisma, you simply spread joy.

I could, most certainly, write about you for hours. I could retell every story, relive every milestone, but instead let me just leave you with a few, pretty sappy, mommy thoughts.

Juliet, I hope you continue to just love people and surround yourself with people who love you. I have so enjoyed watching you become YOU and I hope you are always so comfortable expressing yourself. I have quickly learned that each passing day is better when you are in it, and I hope you know what a delight you are to those who are blessed to be in your presence. Each day I watch you learn new things and explore the world around you I am reminded to take a moment myself to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Thank you for re-teaching me that!

This weekend, we will celebrate you. There will be cake and friends and presents and we will sing “Happy Birthday” over and over… I’ll cry because your very existence gives me joy so profound I don’t know how to keep those emotions from leaking out of my eyes. I hope you always know how much we love you. How freaking incredible you truly are. You’ve taught me how to see the world differently, through your innocent eyes. Let’s always drop everything to dance when we hear music and belly laugh when we fart. My life is so much better with you in it.

I hope, one day, when you are old enough to read this letter you’ll smile at your sentimental momma and know that my first year as a mother has been my greatest adventure, and you, sweet one, the most beautiful gift.

Love,

Momma

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