My darling, sweet baby girl,
I can’t believe you’re nearly a year old already. As I held you on my chest after I nursed you to sleep tonight I stared at you for ages, remembering back to the night your were born. We spent so many of the nights that followed that incredible moment when I first laid eyes on you just as we did tonight; with you nuzzled onto my chest, skin-t0-skin.
From the moment you were guided to my chest, seconds after you came into the world, we bonded so deeply. I feel it each and every time you return to me and your body relaxes into mine, as if we’re one. We were, for a time. And I think you find comfort in returning there which makes me happier beyond words.
On our second night in the hospital, I remember you crying inconsolably after a diaper change. The second you came back to me and your tiny head rested over my heart, I inhaled slowly, deeply, steadily — yoga breathing. You calmed instantly.
As we approach your first birthday, I find myself snuggling you just a little bit longer after you’ve fallen asleep in my arms at your nap. I stare at your beautiful face, watch your gorgeous little fingers playing sleepily with the tag on the bunny “lovey” we’ve encouraged you to associate with sleep-time and study your sweet toes as they push against the arm of the chair I sit in to nurse and rock you. I know I’ll long for these moments later so I try to savor them without thinking about how sad I’ll feel when they’re finally memories.
You are so, so sweet. If I could describe you in one word, your essence I mean, at this age, it would have to be that you are the sweetest soul I’ve ever encountered. Now that you’re adept at “cruising” and have started to stand for seconds at a time on your own, you’re always on the move, exploring. If you must be carried as I move about, you’re on my hip, kicking your legs as a jockey might, in excitement over being brought to a window to open the blinds and play with the curtains or to the door to go out on the porch to get the mail.
Once you see where we’re headed, you can’t contain your excitement and you kick and intone excitedly. Considering how curious and pleased and excited you are to explore the wonders this world holds for you, it’s that much more treasured each time you come to me and look up to be held and then rest your head into me chest and neck just for a moment or two. You’re so gently, loving, and tender-hearted.
I think you want a sibling. Observing you watching other children is about as heart wrenching as it gets. I first noticed your keen interest in the neighborhood kids about a month ago. We’d been peeking out the window watching the cars go by when you saw our neighbor pass by with his son and daughter. You intoned “hi” and waved, excitedly, then looked at me with the saddest eyes I’d ever seen. Like, why aren’t they saying hi to me? My heart shattered. I don’t think I’ve wished to magically have a sibling for you in an instant than I did in that moment. Now I make a point to be outside around 5 PM with you each day now so you can see and talk with the neighborhood kids as they’re picked up from the in-home daycare next door to us.
True, we have nursery time at the library and play dates with friends’ kids, and you loved playing with your cousins at Christmas, but I can just feel that you want someone else to play with regularly besides me and your daddy or your Nana… you want a friend to play with all the time. You want someone little, like you. A sister or brother. Or maybe a dog!
Your love of animals is another hallmark of your incredible sweetness. I had a parakeet as a child, so I never experienced the devotion and love of a dog but wherever we are, if there is a doggy, you beeline for it. At your Auntie Jaimie and Uncle Matthew’s at Christmas…. anytime we visit Casey and Chuck’s for a playdate with Lainey, Miles and Jack you crawl after Zdeno like a fiend and giggle anytime your able to catch him to tap his fur with your hand…or anytime we catch our neighbor Alyce on the street while she’s walking her little dachshund, Brownie. He’s probably your favorite because he doesn’t scoot away when you pet him and he loves to give you wet little licks that make you squeal and kick excitedly.
Basically, every single moment with you is a pleasure. Your disposition is lovely and you’re so friendly, sweet, and social. You wave and smile at every single person you see, even a very scary looking man we saw at the library earlier today who you so charmed the pants off of that he immediately bought you two children’s books from the library cafe!
I am so incredibly lucky and blessed to be your Mama. I love you so, so much my darling girl.