Zoe, my beautiful daughter, and my second and last baby, is turning one today. I have started and restarted this post so many times that I lost count. To put my feelings and emotions into words have proven to be difficult, if not impossible. However, I tried my best, in hopes that when she is older and no longer thinks mommy is a superhero who can solve all her problems in the world, she will read this letter and remember that no matter what happens in life, mommy is here and mommy’s love is forever.
To my darling little girl,
Before I say anything else, I want to get something off my chest. When you were in my belly, I was not looking forward to your birth. Sure, you sat extremely low and made me feel like I was walking with a bowling ball in between my legs, but besides the discomfort, I wanted to keep you inside me. Why? Because I had gotten used to life with just one kid, and oh boy your brother was and still is a handful. I was afraid because one was hard enough, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle two. But most of all, I was afraid that I love your brother so much that I didn’t have any more room in my heart to love you.
I could not have been more wrong.
From day one, you have been such a good-natured baby. You couldn’t wait to infect the world with your sweetness so you broke out your first smile when you were barely 4 weeks old. Ever since then, you have been making mommy’s cheeks hurt trying to keep up with all your happy grins. A year has passed since you took your first breath and for the past 12 months, you have amazed me every single day.
Just when I don’t think I can love you more, you…
- Laugh like you heard the greatest joke in the world whenever mommy makes funny faces or puts any object on her head.
- Open your mouth as wide as you can and say “ahhhh” as if you are in the doctor’s office every time you see me hold anything edible in my hand.
- Squeal with delight when we play catch with the dog or when you see the cat walk by.
- Imitate everything I do, like rubbing your hands together and rubbing them on your thighs while I lotion my legs.
- Sign like crazy when you spot a bird and turn around to grab my hand so that I could help you chase after it.
- Babble to yourself as you play with your toys, and smile proudly whenever you figure out how something works.
- Giggle and look at your brother with so much adoration even when he tortures you and knocks you over.
- “Argue” angrily by making all kinds of noises whenever your brother takes away something in your hand as if you were trying to convince him to give it back.
- Flash me the biggest smile whenever I give you something new to play with as if you have just scored the world’s most sought-after toy.
- “Kiss” me on the cheek or mouth with your mouth wide open and leaving my face all wet and full of drool (worth it!).
- Walk across the room into my open arms (and sometimes it takes several attempts since you are just learning to walk) and squeeze me with your arms around my neck so tightly that I never want to let go.
I know you can’t stay little forever, and I cherish every moment I spend with you. I love holding you in my arms and nursing you while you nap, even if it means being stuck on the glider for hours at a time. I’d rather lose feeling in my legs and arms than put you down because I know there is only so much time before I can’t hold you anymore. I love kissing your chipmunk cheeks, and I am going to be kissing them a lot more before they disappear. I love holding your hands and helping you “run” even when it hurts my lower back because I know one day you will let go forever.
And when you do let go, I want you to promise me that you will…
- Keep smiling even when things get tough because your smile is too beautiful to be turned upside down.
- Always reach for the stars because you are destined for great things and I am just lucky to be a chapter of a great novel that is your life.
- Always fight for what you want because I can see the determination in your eyes and the fire inside your heart even at such a young age.
- Always get up when you fall, because trust me, you have fallen a lot more as a baby learning how to walk and you have always gotten up without any tears.
- Laugh whenever you can, because your laughter is music to my ears (plus I hear it keeps the doctor away!).
- Stay sweet always, because your hugs and kisses can melt even the toughest hearts.