Hello, my girl. It’s been one heck of a year, eh? I will never forget the moment I awoke at 6:15 one year ago today and knew that you were coming. Just the day before I had been at Target doing some mundane shopping and thinking about how I still had to wait one more week to meet you. Just like your mom, though, you were a little early. That’s a good habit to get into.
I knew you were mine, but I still had to get to know-know you. There is no orientation weekend for babies and moms; you just have to dive in headfirst and hold your breathe. I was dumbstruck that nothing in my life could have prepared me for the mix of emotions I felt when I looked at you and attempted to give you what you needed. I often thought about how ludicrous it was that only a few days before, you were still baking inside me. And now, you were out. Just out. I was as new to being a mom as you were to being a human, and we both cried a lot and slept very little in those days.
But we learned. You taught me to practice a brand of patience I never dreamed existed. This was a special kind of patience that I couldn’t acquire while waiting at the DMV or even teaching ESL kindergarten. This patience wasn’t forced; it just existed within and without me at the same time. You broke my heart with your sweetness and delicateness. I had no desire but to love you and give you the best of the world. All of a sudden, those long, long weeks of not sleeping and just struggling to get through the day are a distant memory, even though they were less than a year ago. This is because you are magical and somehow found a way to contort time itself. Um, maybe not. But I’m your mom so to me you’ll always be magical.
You have been an easy baby. Don’t think I don’t appreciate it. You slept through the night when you were seven weeks old and weren’t collicky. You loved being held and curling up on our tummies while you slept. You’ve never much liked it when I put you in you playpen or your scooter when I took a shower, but day by day you’re learning that you can occupy and entertain yourself. The world is your oyster and as much as I cringe when you dart towards the dishwasher whenever you notice that it’s open, I am glad that you care. I’m reluctantly happy that you would rather tear pages out of books than watch TV. You are my special little mess and I relish the fits you throw because then I know that you’re feeling. I have made a little breathing feeler. If you ever have children yourself, you’ll understand why that’s such a big deal to me.
I have made a human, and that human is you. You were the one I waited for all along.
The other day, we were taking a bath and you looked straight at me and babbled a sentence-length series of syllables. Your sentence was full of meaning and intent. The words weren’t there, but you had basically taken off the training wheels of language. I stared back in your eyes and marveled that you had something to say. And not only that, but it was to me that your words were directed. Please always, always know that your words are valuable and strong. Take care of them and own them. When you use them, be kind and smart, both to others and yourself.
Knowing you has easily been the most incredible honor of my life. The word “amazing” springs to mind, but I hear that word too often and so it surely cannot describe the uniqueness of watching you interact with the world and knowing that you are mine in a way that no one else is. I adore you, my Sweetbabybuney. Thank you for being you and loving me in a way that no one else ever has or ever will. Thank you for existing and for making me be a better me. Know that Daddy and I love you more than we could ever possibly tell you in a letter or a poem. Our hearts keep growing with every breath you take. Keep inhaling and soak in this big world at your feet.