May 7, 2015
My dearest Effie,
Today is your first birthday. Happy birthday, my sweet girl- the sunshine of my days. This has been the wildest and fastest year of my life. I’ve begged it to slow down so I can soak you up and drink you in a little while longer, but time just keeps on moving and you keep on growing and learning. You are everything I’ve ever wanted and so much more than I ever deserved. I’ll never forget you being placed in my arms in the calm, quiet delivery room and my heart feeling like it was exploding from my chest. This year you have brought me so much happiness, matched with neverending worry, and lots of lessons in love, patience, and life.
When you learned to nurse, I learned to cherish the quiet moments spent alone with you. Snuggling you in and smelling the top of your head became my favorite. Those moments in the middle of the night reminded me that you needed me. Don’t ever stop needing me.
When you learned to smile, I knew I would never be the same again. I learned that I wanted you to be happy- always. I also learned at that moment what it was to feel unconditional love. Don’t ever let yourself stop smiling.
When you learned to laugh, I learned that it was the sweetest and most beautiful sound in the world- better than kitten purrs, ocean breezes, or wind chimes. Whatever you do, don’t ever stop laughing and finding all of the joy that there is in life.
When you learned to put your paci in your mouth all on your own, I learned that you may not always need me for everything. And I cried at that thought, but you were so proud of yourself. Don’t ever forget how incredibly smart and capable you are.
When you learned to say “Mama” and “Dada,” I learned that you knew I was yours- forever and always. I also learned that you were never going to stop talking. Your baby babble is almost constant, and you have so much to say! Don’t ever let anyone quiet your sound.
When you learned to “sweet baby,” I learned that you have a gentle heart, and I learned what it felt like for mine to squeeze inside my chest. Don’t ever lose that gentle heart or love for all things.
When you learned to crawl, I learned that you wouldn’t always be a baby and that it was happening faster than I was prepared for. Again, I cried while watching you crawl away. But the moment when you crawled back to me, I melted. Don’t ever forget I will always be here for you.
When you learned to dance, I learned that you unfortunately might have your mother’s dance moves. And for that, I’m sorry. But for now, it’s precious. Don’t ever stop dancing regardless of how ridiculous you might look.
When you learned to push the walker, I learned (very slowly) to let you go and also to stay out of your way. You’ll grocery cart someone’s feet and laugh about it. You’ve got things to do and places to see. Don’t ever let anyone get in your way or slow you down.
Thank you for all of the lessons, the love, and the laughter this year. You have made me a better version of myself and have made my life have such a sweeter meaning. I love you always and look forward to all of the many lessons we have left to learn. Happy birthday.