A Letter to my Daughter on her First Birthday

Where have the last 12 months gone? I can’t believe I spent the last 365 days watching your every move. Literally. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

I still remember your first breath like it happened 5 minutes ago. The anticipation as we waited for your first cry. The first time you latched on to me like you had been doing it for years. I remember the squeeze of your tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I remember spending the days just taking in your wonderful baby smell, one that I wanted to imprint on my memory forever. The first time you smiled, I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. When you started reaching, pointing and begging for me to pick you up, I knew I was screwed and would have the hardest time ever saying no to that beautiful face. The first time you rolled over, I knew you were going to be a little rebel, always out to prove me wrong. The first time you got hurt, I didn’t know how I was going to cope, ever. I remember your first taste of food, you couldn’t be happier! All the silly faces you made after I tried to force you to eat bananas, because what baby doesn’t like bananas?!

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent watching you sleep my baby, taking in every detail. From the way your eyes curve just like your Daddy’s, from your perfect little nose, to your tiny little dimple on the right side of your face.

I remember the first time I got angry at you and how I cried after from feeling so guilty. I remember all the times I’ve said “You’re just like your Daddy!” and noticing your little character develop. I love the way you rub your feet together before falling asleep just like me, how those same feet are ALWAYS crossed, and your hatred for anything on those feet. I remember the hours spent listening to the same playlist on Spotify over and over because it was the only thing that would keep you calm. And I remember how just recently, you started acting out those same songs.

I remember carrying you facing outwards for what felt like months, because you were too curious of the world around you. Which reminds me of the first time you snuggled your tiny face into my neck, I knew there was no place I would rather be.

I wish I could freeze time and stay in these first 12 months forever. As much as I love seeing you grow and learn new things, I know from this day forward as you gain your independence, you’ll spend less and less time in my arms and I’ll spend less and less time watching your every move. I could spend the rest of my life just watching you my baby, and my life would feel complete.

I remember the first sign of your first tooth, I felt so proud of you, that it brought tears to my eyes. The time you finally started “crawling,” I knew you would do things your own way and not care what other people had to say. In that same week you pulled yourself up for the first time and I knew you were ready to conquer the world. I remember how you were always such an independent baby, never wanting to be too coddled. So recently when you started refusing to sleep, I remember how I let you fall asleep in my arms every night with no hesitation.

The first time you crinkled that little nose, or learnt how to give kisses, I remember asking myself how I gave birth to something so perfect? I love the way you dance, jump, and wave. I remember the first time you clenched up your tiny little fist and yelled in anger, I couldn’t help but laugh as it was too damn cute. I’ll always remember your giggle, whether it be from trying to throw yourself off the couch or from Daddy making silly faces at you. I love the way you know your cute, and how nothing will get in your way of something you want. I love waking up to your smiling face (most) mornings, and hearing you call me “mama” has never made me so sure of my purpose in life. I remember how your first cold broke my heart because I couldn’t take it away. I remember the hours I spent googling stuff, striving to be the perfect parent to such a tiny little being.

I want to soak up every single second I have with you, because I know I won’t get this time back. Every day that passes, every hour that you grow older, I know I have less time to just BE with you.

So thank you my baby for teaching me that every struggle has a silver lining, that every nighttime wake up just means more time spent by your side, and that every bump means more cuddles. Thank you for teaching me to be kinder, to love harder, and to be more present in every day. Thank you for showing me patience, unconditional love, and that everything will be okay. I hope you know how loved you are my baby girl and I can’t wait to see the little girl that you will become.


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