Nearly two years ago, I wrote this to Leah. I was just a few days pregnant, with a million possibilities, fears and joys ahead of me. On her first birthday, I have a few words for that little girl I am so privileged to know.
To my darling, one year old daughter,
I have watched with indescribable awe, wonder, humility and joy as you traveled through your first year of life. I loved you long before I met you, but that love bloomed in the instant I saw you - your sweet face, your little mouth, your impossibly tiny fingers and toes. You were strong and independent even from your first breath. From that instant on, you will always be the joy of my life; the greatest and most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of.
Your accomplishments in this short year are many. From that amazing day you rolled over only 9 days into life, to your first smile, first words, the first day I discovered you standing in your crib. The fun we had with those first bites of cereal, of carrots, and finally the "real," chunky foods. The fact that you can now pull yourself up everywhere you go, climb stairs, and can crawl for miles. The fact that you understand so much language and so much of the world around you for such a little girl. You absolutely amaze and delight me, my little pumpkin.
Thank you for teaching me so many things. Because of you, I know patience (you screamed nearly every time you rode in the car until you were almost 5 months old); I know beauty (the light in your eyes when you smile, the joy of your laughter, the peaceful serentity when you sleep); I know humility (I have been covered in so many delightful substances since your birth!); I know gratitude (for months, I literally rejoiced in the sound of your cry. Weird, I know. But every sound you made, even the crying, reassured me that you were real, that you were safe, and that you were mine). You have enriched and inspired me in ways that I will never be able to properly thank you for.
Know that your daddy and I will be cheering you on as you continue to tackle the world. Know that we are here to support you, guide you, love you, strengthen you, laugh with you, and help prepare you to take on life in your own unique way.
Know, too, that this first year of your life has been the very best year of mine.
Happy birthday, my sweet girl.
With love and gratitude,