Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gracie's First Year

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Dear Daughter,

Tonight was your first "Welsh Christmas" (because we had already had it by the time you came around last year).   You had so many firsts.  It was your first time eating a meal that was entirely chopped up and no blended food.  Your first time opening gifts.  Your first time having cake.  Your first time playing with balloons. 

You weren't the only one who had a first tonight, though.  Someone else did something for the first time.  Someone like me. 

I broke down tonight. 

And I've done that before, but not like this.  This time it wasn't out of frustration at being a working mom or running on less that 12 hours of sleep for the week, or a crying, teething baby that I just can't comfort.  It wasn't out of drugged, sleepless, hormonal awe like it was the first week or two that you were around. 

It was out of real, genuine emotion.  Happiness.  Sadness.  Amazement. 

Before you have a baby no one tells you that a year after the child is born you'll then have a toddler and no baby.  No one tells you that those absolutely adorable little newborn clothes that babies wear at the very beginning will turn into cute toddler clothes in a matter of months. 

No one tells you that the one person that trusts you most in the world will start doing things on her own and learning and beginning to trust others within months.  I wasn't prepared for you to be okay with everyone holding you tonight.  You didn't cry for anyone. 

I am so happy for you.  I am so happy for our little family.  You have had a beautiful life, Gracie.  I pray that it continues until long after I'm gone.  I am so blessed to have you in my life.  You are the best thing about every single day.  You are the most beautiful thing I look at.  You are the sweetest person I interact with.  You are the smartest person I know.  I can't believe how lucky we are to have you.  That saying is so cliche, but it's how I feel.  How different you could have been so easily and you are wonderful.  You are perfect. 

I cannot believe how far you've come.  I can't even stand that you were my little 6 lb 15 oz girl.  I already don't remember what that was like, but I bet it was a lot easier to carry.  :)  I still am in amazement that a year ago tonight I headed into the hospital with contractions, not knowing what I would leave with. 

I left with someone who held my husband's heart in the palm of her hand and the depth of those little blue eyes.  He loves you so much, you know.  (And that's saying something because he wanted a boy!) :)  He cried like a baby when you joined us in the world. 

Tonight I rocked you to sleep.  I rocked you like you were a 1-month old.  You're not.  Not even close.  But you still fell asleep in my arms.  That was when the tears started rolling. 

(Thanks, Lord, for waiting until we got home to start that business.) 

I can't believe you're a year old.  I can't believe you're climbing out of chairs on your own, eating normal people food, talking (jabbering) to strangers, taking steps....  You were supposed to be a baby for much longer than this. 

Gracie, people say that after you have a kid you can't even remember your life before the baby.  Well let me tell you something - I remember.  This is so much better. 


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