To my sweet one year old,
Today is the day, one year ago, that I held you in my arms and you were mine.
It would be a lie to say that from the moment I knew you were going to be born, I felt nothing but joy and excitement, and besides I've said too much already to backtrack to that now. The truth is, until the moment I met you I had a hard time feeling anything. I loved you, I wanted you, but I was so afraid. I was so afraid that I couldn't do it, couldn't be your mom. I was so afraid of letting you down.
But from the moment you were born, and you certainly knew how to do that part right, you've been reminding me that it's all going to be okay.
It is hard for me to take credit for how perfect you are. I don't feel like I've always been a great mother to you, and there are times when I feel like I don't deserve someone as sweet and happy and easy as you in my life. But every time you look at me, you let me know that you are mine and I am yours and we are just right for each other, and I am so grateful.
Right now, your loud and passionate sister is climbing on you, hugging you, and telling you Happy Birthday. You are smiling. You are smiling because you love her, because you love when she pays attention to you, but also because smiling seems to be your default. You are so HAPPY. Sometimes it makes me want to apologize to you. I'm sorry, tiny girl, that your happy self ended up in this chaos. But, the truth is I suppose that you aren't happy in spite of us, you are happy because of us. You are ours and you belong here.
You are patient. You are careful. You figure out how to get what you want, how to solve problems, without crying or screaming. You simply keep trying different solutions until you have exactly what I was trying to take away from you. You are walking, no matter how much I am in denial about this. You are talking in essence. You wave, you nod, you sign, you babble. We understand each other, you and I.
You are so loved, little girl, and I am so grateful. And I realize today that I'm not sad about the end of your baby-ness like I thought I'd be. I didn't miss it, it didn't get away from me. You were here with me for every moment of it. I'm just so grateful to know you and to be your mom.