Dear Baby Girl,
I’m not often at a loss for words to write, but today, on the eve of your first birthday, the fullness of my heart isn’t easily confined to paper. It seems like yesterday when I was feeling those first contractions with excitement, wondering if this was the long-awaited kairos when you and I would meet face to face. It seems like yesterday that I was immobilized in the pain of active labor, unable to believe that life could come from something that felt so much like death. It seems like yesterday when I experienced the absolute joy and perfect relief of holding you for the first time, when I believed fully, maybe for the first time, that miracles are real.
But a year it has been. As I watch you now, fluffing your hair with your brush and tipsily standing by yourself, all while yelling, “HI, BABY!” to me, it’s hard to believe that it’s just been a year since you were a helpless bundle of poopy joy. It’s hard to believe that it’s just been a year since we met, and I knew you were the one I’d been awaiting for 9 months. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since you’ve been the first and last waking thought of my day.
Baby Girl, I could write all day long about all the ways you are fearfully and wonderfully made, created by God for good works. I could tell endlessly how proud I am of your every accomplishment. But for now, in this last letter to commemorate your first year of life, I simply want to say, “Thank you.”
Thank you for putting up with my parental incompetence (even though your seeming patience may be a function of your inexperience and relatively limited verbal skills).
Thank you for showing me that, as imperfect as I am, I have more patience, kindness, and strength than I knew.
Thank for you for awakening in me a love that could only reflect the nature of God’s parental love.
Thank you for reminding me the wonder of the ordinary, everyday miracles that I had forgotten or overlooked.
Thank you for making me into a mother.
Part of me may be a little wistful and weepy as you exit babyhood and rocket towards toddlerhood, but mostly, I’m just joyful today. I can’t wait to see the woman that every day leads you towards becoming.