You turned one year old today. For the past week or so I’ve been constantly remembering what I was doing one year ago. Dad and I had worked so hard to be prepared for your arrival into our lives. We set up your room, we read lots of books, we took classes, we talked to other moms and dads, yet nothing prepared us for what was about to happen. You entered our lives triumphantly and have spent every day since bringing immense amounts of joy to us.
I cannot believe that that first year of your life is over. I think you’ve had a pretty good one, as we have tried so hard to show you how fabulous life is. We love to take you places and let you try out new things. Everyday turns out to be a lesson for both of us. As I think back to the past year, I am amazed at how perfect just about every day was. I loved having you as my baby and, quite frankly, I’m not so sure I’m ready for you to become a toddler. Part of me so badly just wants to hit the pause button and freeze where we are so we can let life catch up a bit. On the other hand, part of me is so anxious for you to keep on learning, exploring, growing, and continuing to become the person you are shaping out to be.
When you were just a few months old, your Great Grandpa Harry started to say that you have a great sense of humor. We all agreed for the sake of agreeing, but do you know what? You are a funny, funny girl. You are a natural comedian, always looking for the response from your audience when you do something funny or cute. If the response is laughter and applause, you will repeat that silly motion you just did, or that outrageous noise you made, or that look you just made with your face.
You are also so kind. You have a heart of gold and will share just about anything with those you really love and trust. From a favorite toy, to a chewed piece of pasta, to a scrap of paper you found on the floor, you’ll offer it kindly to those you know will appreciate it. You love to cuddle if the timing is right. I totally understand how your wouldn’t want to cuddle up when you could be playing with the Glad Lock containers, but when you first wake up or when it’s almost time for bed you love to gently put your head in my lap, suck your thumb, and wait for me to rub your back.
You have learned that I’m a fairly emotional person and occasionally I need to cry. If you notice me tearing up, you will beg to be lifted up in my arms and will hold me, comfort me, and always, always bring a smile back to my face. You have also learned that having an emotional mom, means lots and lots of laughs. If I giggle when you discover some new funny face to make or a silly noise to make, you instantly pick up on that and you giggle right back at me. That will make me laugh, causing you to laugh, and before you know it, we are having a laughing festival.
You are so bright it just boggles my mind. You “get” things that I really don’t think you should know yet. You mimic just about every face I make and action I do. You seem to learn so instantly. I’ll show you how to open a container once and you’ll be able to do from that day on. I often ask myself, “Now how in the world does she know how to do that?” And I can’t answer the question most of the time. You just know.
You are also the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on. You have the brightest, bluest eyes and the most perfect little button nose. Your round cheeks are always rosy and your perfectly shaped lips are features I can just stare at all day. You head is slowly starting to fill with strands of gorgeous red hair, many curly. Your fingers, toes, elbows, belly button, ankles, chin, I have spent so much time studying them all and it’s all perfect. A true masterpiece, you are.
Each day of the past year you brought new adventures into my life. I have not seen you only one day of the past 365, so I feel like we know each other, inside and out. You are my daughter and I am your mother. I am so proud to use those labels, Zoe. I have loved every moment of being your mom and will continue cherish each day. I believe that we bring each other a certain level of happiness that cannot come from elsewhere. From day one I have been so madly in love with you and that love, although I can’t believe it myself, grows and grows each and every single day.
Zoe, I love you with all of my heart. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday.