Thursday, December 3, 2009

My darling Girl

To my darling Girl,

To say that I am proud of what you have accomplished in your first year of life would be an understatement. To say that I am proud of your father and I for our accomplishments would also be an understatement. We certainly hoped that we would meet the challenges of parenting and tackle them head-on. While you presented few true challenges, we have collectively learned a lot.

It is a fleeting memory: the rolling belly, the jabs, the kicks. I remember the first few foggy weeks of your life - I would steal naps here and there and wake up thinking that I felt you moving inside me once more. I missed it then and I miss it now. What is better, though, is the way you climb all over us in the morning as if you are reaching the summit of Everest, the way you tug on the back of my pants while I am standing at the sink, and the way you tug at my heart with every giggle, sly smile, and crocodile tear.

I remember how extremely cautious I was with you in those early days - up and down the stairs so many times, so fearful of missing a step. Today, I followed you up those stairs, equally cautious, as you climbed them on your own.

I remember worrying about what I ate during my pregnancy with you, and then what I ate while nursing you, and now you delight in feeding yourself every meal and drinking from a cup all on your own.

I slept well, and then not well, during my pregnancy. While you were a wonderfully sleepy baby, we still woke up and ate, and played, and slept again so many, many, many times. Now, you nuzzle your lovey and curl up in the corner of your crib with your bootie in the air as if there has never been another way. Just before I go to sleep every night, I sneak in to your room and watch you sleeping and breathing so peacefully.

I read so many books during my pregnancy, hoping to figure out the "right" way to do this. Your Dad read books to you before you were born. Now, you spend part of every day pulling all of your books out and flipping through the pages. As a family, at the end of each day, we read books before you go to bed. I hope you always love it as much as you do now.

Your sounds .... the initial faint beating of your heart, the un-reassuring monitors, the wailing newborn in the operating room, the coos and squeaks, the giggle, the dada's and the mama's ... I hope those things are engraved in my mind forever.

The reality of my life is completely different now - in the best possible way. I start each day and end each day with you. Your grin, your crazy hair, your tears - I've loved (most) every minute. The joy on your face when we meet after being apart warms my heart, and I hope you feel the same from me.

We are starting to see the person you are becoming, and not just the baby you are. I think your Dad would agree that this year has passed faster than any other, but we would not trade a single second. You are the perfect addition to our family and we can't imagine anyone else fitting as well.

I hope you always appreciate the wonder and joy in simple things, just as you do now.

I love you.



distaff said...

This is beautiful little Mama, just the way I still feel about you!

4 Magic Words said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!
You really can write!

Marie Hooker said...

Brought tears to my eyes...Ellen is a lucky girl!!

Anonymous said...

I am crying. What a lucky girl she is to have you and the hubby as parents. Beautiful writing!
Happy first birthday!
-Crazy Aunt Megan

mary_marshall said...

That is just beautiful & of course made me cry. Happy 1st birthday, Girly! :-)

Bets said...


Feeling a lot of the same feelings!

XOXO - Aunt Betsy

Anonymous said...

Ummmm...couldn't have said it any better, couldn't have held back any of the tears! The love of a Mama for her baby is truly incredible amd you so eloquently articulated it. Oh, and the love a Mama feels watching "Husband" become "Daddy" is every bit as magical isn't it? Kuddos to you and Erik for your mindfulness of the wonder in everyday moments ... Girly is one lucky little gal!

Liz Krueger said...

Not sure why that didn't take my signature :) Liz