My dearest Ellia,
Wow. You are one. One. I honestly can’t believe that an entire year has already passed since your birth. And what a remarkable year it has been. You have changed and grown so significantly over the past twelve months, more so than you ever will again in the same time period. You’ve transformed from a tiny helpless newborn, to a smiley rolly infant, into a gleeful walking toddler. Toddler? Are you really a toddler? I’m not sure, but you certainly do toddle! I do know that you are a happy, healthy, beautiful addition to our family.
I remember your birth day so clearly. How our life changed! You allowed Daddy and me to become parents of TWO daughters and Zoe to proudly wear a big sister badge. And we all were so proud you entered our lives. Those early days hold such fond memories for me as you just needed to be cuddled and granted much time to snooze and munch. You patiently allowed us to adapt to the new roles of our lives. Daddy and I learned to manage the needs of a slightly larger family, while Zoe learned to love like I know she has never loved before.
Throughout your first year Zoe continued to nurture you through dance, laughter, songs, and countless (most often quite confusing) stories. You soon recognized the love Zoe poured into your soul and so generously returned the favor. I know you admire and adore your big sister, and know she feels the same toward you.
Over the past twelve months your actual need to be held has decreased. You don’t need to be rocked to sleep anymore. You now feed yourself. You can travel throughout the house independently. You support yourself in the tub. You have found joy in playing on your own. As you discovered all these freedoms your need and desire to be cuddled and embraced has not ceased. And for that I call you ‘my little cuddle bug.’
In general, we all lead pretty happy lives, but you are, without a doubt, the happiest in the house. Everything in this little world of yours brings you such delight, joy, and elation. Your beautiful smile is contagious and when out and about you often are stopped by strangers and asked to share a grin. Although, you are certainly are a people person you are comforted most by those you love and know that good, safe feeling of family love.
Now we all like to eat, but you take it to a whole new level. Never could I have guessed that you’d eat so much. As soon as we introduced you to the wonderful world of solid foods, you’ve been stuffing your little face! With the exception of yogurt there is not a single food item you do not like. And by like, I mean devour. Quickly! You always out-eat Zoe, often me as well, and even your dad occasionally! It’s insane. Although you’ll eat anything you prefer vegetables to fruit and will grab frantically at any grain or cheese. Friends have kindly nicknamed you “The Eating Machine.”
Well, my Ellia, you’re a remarkable being and as much as I want time to slow down, I am anxious and excited for all you are going to become and achieve. You will continue to learn and grow and love and be loved.
Ellie, you are a light. You bring such warmth and brightness to my smile, my home, my soul. I am so madly in love with all you are. Happy very first birthday, Miss Ellia.