Today, I am at a loss of words. And it’s not because anything dramatic or crazy is going on, but rather because my baby girl is turning one years old.
I have spent days trying to think of a appropriate blog post to write. I wanted to celebrate her on this little corner of the internet, but I didn’t know how. Should I write a public letter? Should I share my birth story? I have no idea, because even though this is happening and time moves without my say I still feel as though this isn’t quite real and she’s still only a few months old.
I can’t believe she’s at the stage where she’s cruising along furniture, and giving us sloppy kisses without even being asked and saying small words like ‘daddy’ and ‘hi’ and ‘no’. My favorite of hers is ‘hello’, although it sounds much more like ‘hey-woa.’ She says it to everyone, everything- and is especially persistent if she doesn’t get a response back.
‘Hey-woa. Hi. Hey-woa! Hi!’
Add an emphatic wave from her mini outstretched hands and you have the picture.
Gracious, it feels like just a few short weeks ago that I would cradle her and she’d be content just to lay in my arms. Now she can hardly stay still- the only hugs we share are quick and brief, but just as sweet- if not sweeter.
Wasn’t just a few short months ago that we brought her home? I will always remember that day- warm, icky, gross. I was wishing so much that it would feel like fall when we brought her home, but in Charleston, SC fall doesn’t come until November. I was worried she would get a dramatic heat stroke in our non-AC car, but she was fine.
I remember pulling into the ‘yard’ of our Tiny House, desperately wanting to go inside and take a nap. I didn’t want to see anyone.
But on the porch of my in-law’s house stood Jeff’s grandparents- affectionately called ‘Grammy and Grandpa”, Joy’s great-grandparents. They didn’t say a thing to us, but watched from a distance as we unpacked our brand-new baby and headed towards our home.
There’s something sweet about generations connecting- the old with the new- so we invited Grandpa to come on out and hold her. The very thing I thought I didn’t want. But it’s one of those moments I cherish so, so much.
My mother was up that evening. Joy is her first (and so far only) grandchild, and it was fun hearing stories from my own babyhood and dreaming about what Joy would be like.
Oh, so much changed in a year. I didn’t know her a year ago! And right now, that seems unfathomable because she is so full of personality.
A year ago, she cried and I didn’t know why, she ate more then she was awake, and I wished and prayed over her and her future.
Today, she cries and although we don’t always know exactly why, we can work together to find some sort of solution to the seeming madness. She still eats like it’s her last meal, but has very specific preferences. Eggs she can only do once a week, other wise she very carefully picks them out of whatever I’ve tried to hide them in and throws them on the floor. In contrary, she’ll eat two bananas in a single sitting- more, if you really let her.
She loves reading books now. Of course, she doesn’t really *read* but she sits on our laps and turns the pages and points at animals. She claps her hands for everything, ‘more, please’ is what she means. More reading, please. More food, please. More kisses, please.
I never thought I could love someone so fiercely, so unconditionally.
Besides all this mushy stuff, it’s been the hardest experience. She tries my patience every day, and some days brings out the worst in me. But in doing so she brings out the best. She grows me.
A year is hardly enough time to be as dependent and trusting as she is to me, but she hardly knows better. Seeing how much has changed in such a short period makes me yearn for the days past, and so, so excited for the years ahead.
I’m a lot more tired, a lot more worn out, but so excited to see what she grows up to be.