So, this is it. Today is the last day anyone will consider you an infant. And, since you are the last child that I will bear, this is also the last day I will ever have an infant of my own. Tomorrow you will turn one. One. Such a simple three letter word to sum up 365 days of getting to know you. I, of course, have many thoughts on this. My Mommy heart feels even now the familiar tug-of-war that comes with watching your children grow. The happy/sad way of looking into the rear view mirror of how little you used to be, while going forward towards who you are becoming.
So, let me say, it is an honor to be your Mommy. You continue to be one of my greatest joys. I love you. I love spending time with you. I love every minute of watching your personality and preferences emerge from the cocoon of “baby”. You are lovely. You make everyday better, just by being in it. While we are both still figuring out who you are, and while you have the absolute freedom to change who that is at any time, I will tell you what I have found out about you so far.
You are joyful. You bring joy wherever you go. At home, at the grocery store, at church, at the park, everywhere. People are always smiling when they see you. Strangers talk to me about you at every outing. Your siblings quarrel over who gets to hold you next. You awake happy and smiling every morning, and I swear the pink/yellow/blue ribbons of dawn cannot compete with the light you bring to our home.
You are amazing. You have the best dimples in the known world. You have the discernment to dislike peas. You relish every bite of sweet potatoes. You believe there is no bad way to cook a white potato. Your eyes sparkle. You are sweet. You like to pat my back when I hold you. You love cuddles. You wave things away when you don’t want them, like housewives do a fly. You only cry in earnest. You love to play in water. You laugh when people tell you no. You wave like a small-town princess on the best float in the parade.
Your first words were Mama and Hi. You wave and say hi more times in a day than I knew was possible. You love baby dolls. You dance when you hear music. You clap when people applaud for you. You enjoy no part of getting dressed. Or having your diaper changed. You love road trips. You talk louder in the car than you do outside or in the house. You love soft things, especially blankets and stuffed animals. You love to stand up. You think sneezes are funny. You fake cough to get attention, and it always works. You are wonderful.
But even more than all these things, I know that you are loved. You are the perfect finale to our family. You have made us complete, whole. You are exactly who we needed. Holding you for the first time felt like finding what I didn’t know was lost. Like the last piece of a beautiful puzzle being finally placed in it’s center. Like coming home.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the day that you came into our arms and lives, and the 364 days that followed. We will have cake in spite of the controversy of sugar. We will give you presents that mean more to us, probably, than to you. And we will spend time being what you have made us better at, being a family. But for today, just let me hold you, while you are still a baby….