Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A letter to my daughter on her first birthday.

Dear Baby Bird,

One year ago, at 6:30 in the morning on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, you were born.

At only 4 lbs, 1oz, you were just tiny, but we could tell right from the beginning that you were a fighter. One of the residents in the NICU where you spent the first weeks of your life said that he wished all babies were like you.  You have amazed us every single day since your tiny beginning by the rapidity with which you have grown and learned and developed. 

You have been good for our confidence. Every time we successfully got you to sleep, or successfully got you to eat something new, or recorded an impressive weight gain, or taught you something new, we were almost as proud of ourselves as we were of you.  Your first word (BALL), expressed so clearly and so repeatedly at only 11 months old was a particular moment of pride! And crawling! Oh my gosh, when you started crawling it was the most amazing feeling of accomplishment!

Of course, there were moments of worry and anxiety. We, like most new parents, have over-thought things and fretted and fussed. But the more you grew and developed and learned, the more confidence and certainty we have gained. You've been good for us, little one.

Up until about Christmas, you were very shy. You sat quietly and watched the world around you, playing strange with anyone other than Mom and Dad.  At Christmas, seemingly all of a sudden, you decided that you were going to be an outgoing participant in the world and you haven't looked back. You engage with everybody, waving, chatting and playing with anyone around you.

We love all the goofiness in you, including your goofy facial expressions, your goofy moods, your goofy games. There is very little frustration when things don't go your way; you just turn around and head for the next thing. You smile all day long (most days) and you have a wonderful infectious belly laugh.

I have loved being home with you.  But a new stage in both of our lives is right around the corner! Back to work for Mommy and off to day care for you. We have chosen a place where we think you'll thrive, where the staff are warm and kind. It will undoubtedly be a hard transition for both of us, but I have a feeling that you'll adjust sooner than I will.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the new things that you'll learn from the teachers and the other babies at the day care. It will be so good for you. And going back to work will be good for me too.

I'm just going to miss you so much, baby girl. So I hope you'll forgive me if for the first few days, I hug you a little tighter, kiss you a little harder and hold you a little longer.

Happy Birthday, sweet sweet baby.

I love you.