To my beautiful daughter on her very first birthday:
I‘ll never forget the first day that your Dad went back to work after you were born, and I thought to myself, “Alright, Miss Blake, you and I are in this together.” I had no idea what I was doing and I had no idea what being a mother truly meant. My, how quickly things have changed.
In a way, we both grew together over the past year. You learned many things, and I learned many things. You ebbed and I flowed, and in many ways, you taught me more than I taught you.
And here you are, one year old – a thriving, beautiful baby girl and you’re bigger than life, darling. And I love you more than life.
For the past year you’ve been my biggest worry and my biggest happiness. I stayed up at night researching things so I could always provide the best for you, and we spent every day together – laughing, dancing, singing and exploring this world, together. When I think of life before you, it feels like something was missing, as if I wasn’t yet complete. You made me complete, our sweet baby girl – our angel baby. And as you learned, I learned.
- You opened your eyes for the first time and stared at me, and I learned what unconditional love meant. I had never seen anyone or anything more beautiful.
- You learned to nurse, and I quickly learned everything there is to know about milk supply, nursing positions, latching and pumping.
- You learned to roll over, and I learned not to scream in excitement every time you did, because that scared you – but I was just so excited for you.
- You learned to laugh, and I learned that your laugh was my new favorite sound in life.
- You learned to scream and I learned that you were a girl who knew what she wanted.
- You learned to sit up and I suddenly learned that you wouldn’t stay a baby forever.
- I took you to the zoo, the aquarium, music class, sign language class, baby concerts and story times, and you stared in awe at everything, soaking it all in. I learned how to see the world through your eyes and suddenly, everything was amazing.
- You learned to say “Mama” and “Dada” and “ball” and I learned you were one smart cookie.
- You learned to crawl and I learned that nothing could ever get in your way…you were on a mission, always.
- I showed you the ocean, and you crawled straight into it – fearless, with purpose…you taught me that you have the heart of a lion.
- You learned to eat solid foods and I learned every nutritional fact about every food and cooked for you every day so you could grow big and strong.
- You learned to pull yourself up to stand and I learned not to hold my breath in anticipation of your fall – I learned to breathe again.
- You learned to push your little cart walking on your own, and I learned to let you go, my strong baby girl.
And you and I have many, many more years of learning together, my love. You will learn so much more in life, and I will learn how to support you through each step.
We did it, Miss Blake – we survived the first year. Thank you for the lessons, the laughter and changing me forever – you’re everything.
Happy 1st birthday, sweetheart.