Well my precious child, we’ve been all the way around the sun together and what a journey it’s been. When I think about your first year of life a tsunami sized swell of emotion washes over me. I’ve experienced the feelings of joy and love before, but being a mother amps those feelings up to unprecedented proportions.
Time has passed much too quickly and now you are on the brink of slipping into toddlerhood, no longer the tiny, glassy-eyed helpless newborn you greeted us as. I think you are teaching us much more than we are teaching you. There is much wisdom in your big blue eyes. You have a way of looking into the eyes of others as if you are contemplating what is deep within. More than one person has called you an old soul.
I’ve tried to impress the lovely “baby” things about you into my brain so they won’t be lost forever as you grow. The wispy locks that curl around your ears, the peace in your face as you sleep in my arms, the feel of your skin as I rock you. You’re gonna be a big girl someday, but I can always cling to these little things.
You are more vocal than ever lately constantly babbling, “ma-mah, tda-tda, bye-bye, baby, puppy, ruff ruff, yeti, diaper, uh-oh, popo” and other words audible only to our Cora tuned ears. Your giggle is infectious and your squeals of delight at the wonders around you fill my heart. Your face breaks into a luminescent beam at the sight of your daddy, and I know how you feel. He makes me happy too.
We, your Daddy and I, are settling into being parents. The shockwave of the early newborn phase faded and we look forward to new daily adventures. You are just now starting to really get into things. A couple of weeks ago you were “cleaning out the pantry” and ripped a tea bag open spilling aromatic leaf bits everywhere. If the dog bowl is down in the kitchen, you kick your crawling into turbo gear straight towards it for a quick splash, and meal times are certainly getting more interesting as you start to use utensils other than your fingers.
Watching you reach new milestones is tantamount to what Americans must have felt when Neil Armstrong bounced across the Moon. A few nights ago, you took several wobbly steps across the living room and my heart nearly burst through my chest. I know your daddy wanted to jump out of the chair and throw a few fist pumps, but we had company and politely contained ourselves.
I will never forget the way you felt in my arms in those first weeks all swaddled in muslin, face shifting between newborn grunts, sleepy sighs and tiny smiles and frowns. I will never forget the way you feel in my arms now, either. A not quite toddler, substantial in my arms yet still vulnerable. Able to hug back and nestle your head in the safe spot between my neck and shoulder.