How can you be 13 months already?!? I can't believe we're celebrating a birthday beyond your first already. And yet you've grown up so much in the past month, I can't believe all these new skills popped up in just 30 short days.
Although you took your first steps starting a week before your first birthday, you started putting steps together a week after your birthday and walked across the room for the first time on November 27, the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. As soon as you learned you could do that, you were all about it.
When we flew to Seattle this month, you had the greatest time just walking around the airport, either tightly grasping my finger or completely on your own. You found such joy in walking that as soon as you took those first steps, you let out a high-pitched cackle that sounded like a horse whinnying and made everyone in the airport laugh. All that joy, spreading contagiously, just from walking.
As you explore your world, you remind me daily what a beautiful, magical place it is. Watching you grasp at dust dancing in the sunlight, delight in snow falling out of the sky continuously, or lean backwards in the Ergo to watch the birds fly above us reminds me to stop and appreciate those same experiences.
When strangers watch you moving and laughing, they often ask me, "Is she always like this? Is she always this happy?" to which I respond truthfully, "Yes, just about." Already you see the sippy cup as half full, and you reach out to fully enjoy every sip in that half cup. The world could learn from you, my wise daughter.
Just so you know, I, for one, am taking notes. You've reminded me that a smile and wave hello will melt the frostiest of hearts, and that nothing should keep me from sharing that gift with everyone. The too-cool hipster at the L stop, the busy barista at the coffee shop, the cantankerous-looking old woman in Walgreens, the bearded homeless man in the park- everyone appreciates a hello and a smile.
You're teaching me to slow down, reminding me that life is in the journey, not the destination. With a little music and frequent dance breaks, chores are enjoyable. Every time we walk Mico, it's a little adventure, and it's especially fun if we stop to look at the Christmas lights. Food is for sharing, sometimes with multiple people. Baths and showers can become the highlight of the day if we just stop to enjoy the sensation of water on our skin. When our surroundings become overwhelming, a deep breath- or a quick nursing session- to slow our bodies and minds lets us re-approach the situation with renewed energy. Thank you for the reminders, Tye. I hope we both hold on to their lessons in our future.
Last night, as I sat in the tub with you and held your slippery body to nurse you, I was brought back to the evening you were born 13 months ago. I know you were far tinier then, but holding your body against mine felt exactly the same; those big eyes staring, though now blue, held the same soul inside. Time will continue to fly, and you'll continue to grow, but you'll always be my Baby Girl. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.