Happy first birthday, dear daughter! You've had a weekend full of celebration- a party with your dad's family yesterday, complete with gifts galore and tons of attention; a party with friends yesterday, including singing and a cupcake and a beautiful party dress and even a nap for a sleepy birthday girl; birthday brunch today with Mama and Daddy; and a party with my family today, with more singing and cupcakes. Everyone was excited to celebrate you and your first year of life.
Celebrating you felt very selfish yesterday- after all, you're only one. You won't remember the celebration, and as much as you enjoy the gifts, you also enjoy the wrapping and packaging. But this year was a big one for us, too. We became parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunt and uncles. I feel as if it was the first year of my own life, not just as a mother, but as a person. Because of you, I have a sense of balance and completeness that I've never known before. My eyes have been opened to a new depth to life that only a mother can comprehend.
One year ago, I underwent a physical event that was simultaneously equally spiritual and emotional. With one final push, as you moved from my body to the outside world, my entire body was flooded with emotions. In that magical moment, I was changed. Everything changed. It was an experience unlike any other, as if I had suddenly been transported to a new realm. Holding you felt surreal, with your tiny body and miniature features, but one thing was certain: I was a new person. That night, the three of us laid in bed together. Daddy slept, worn out from a long, emotional day, and you entered your sleepy state, well deserved after all you endured. Despite feeling as though I'd just finished a marathon, I had trouble drifting off those first few hours. I sat awake, watching you breathe, feeling your warmth on my skin, utterly in awe of you and the power you held over me.
As party decorations, I matted and strung together into a banner photos of you from your first year. Each photo holds so many memories and emotions that looking at them all together was overwhelming. I don't know how all those memories fit into one year. How is it possible? This has been the longest year of my life in the best way possible. The days didn't blend into one another- rather, each day was special in its own way. There were only 365 days? Really? Haven't I known you my whole life? And then I think of that number...
How can it have been 365 days already?!? You can't be a year already! You, my babe, can't already be one. I look at you as you nurse and see the same tiny being that nursed from me right after you were born. And then you stop nursing to smile at me, those four perfectly centered teeth peeking out from your gums. I look down your body- at your waist, bent at the edge of my own body, and then at your feet, hanging over the arm of the rocking chair. You used those feet to take your first step on Monday, and another on Friday, though you're mostly still clinging to furniture and walls as you walk.
On the anniversary of your birth, I can't help but think of how your life has changed mine. You are a miracle, Tye, and the gift of your life is worthy of celebration. I am forever grateful for you. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.