One year ago, I could not imagine my life as a mom. I could not imagine what it would be like to gaze into your blue eyes, kiss your cheeks, wipe your tears. I could not imagine a love so all-encompassing, could not imagine so many hurts in my heart being healed by such a tiny, perfect person.
It has been such a joy watching you grow and develop this year, my little pumpkin. I look back at your pictures from that surreal day of your birth, and I can't believe that you were so small. Even then, the nurses all commented on how alert you seemed for such a little girl. You were already straining to hold up your head in the first few weeks, eager to see everything around you. Those first several months you preferred to sleep during the day and stay awake all night. We spent many a day together snuggled in a recliner, dozing on and off. Those moments were the closest to heaven I may ever get on this Earth. I remember the first time you had a fever, your daddy and I were beside ourselves, staying up all night, taking turns sleeping on your floor. And at the first sign of distress, we were jumping up from our much-needed sleep; we would have done anything to make you feel better. Your first belly laugh came thanks to Daddy, and the sound filled the room and our hearts. We have never stopped trying to make you laugh…some days you are stingier than others, but we can always count on a sleepy baby to be just delirious enough to deliver one or two. The first time you heard music, REALLY heard it, your love for it was obvious. You would awaken from your nap immediately if you heard certain songs, and still will for some. Everyone who has spent any amount of time with you has laughed and laughed at your propensity to "shake it" to the slightest beat, your mischievous head tilt, and your sweet, sweet singing. You have so much energy and are continuously on the go! You love toys that light up or play music, but you are never content to play with just one for very long. We are constantly amazed at your curiosity, your determination, and your problem-solving. You have always done things early, and have kept us on our toes from the moment you first rolled over.
You are such a strong, independent baby. We smile wistfully as you twist from our lap towards your crib at night while we try to keep you our baby, wrestling against nature and your headstrong ways. We can't help but laugh when you loudly demand another bite, scream your displeasure when we take a toy away, or voice your disapproval to the dogs with a resounding NO…we know that you will never have trouble standing up for yourself, and that will serve you well. We have always prayed that you would grow up to have a discerning heart and to take the road less traveled; it seems that you indeed have a good foundation for those qualities already.
We have no idea what you will become Baby Girl. A veterinarian? Zooey and Koda are your favorite companions and you love nothing more than climbing all over them or throwing toys for them to retrieve. A dancer or a musician? You already have moves that you did not inherent from either of us, and your sense of rhythm amazes us! I have no doubt that music will be an important part of your life in some facet or another. A race car driver? You love your new riding toys and the faster you go, the more you smile and laugh. An author or a librarian? I will often catch you looking quietly through books by yourself, turning pages happily. I always take that opportunity to drop everything and read to you; I know that you are going to be a voracious reader regardless of your vocation. We pray daily for your future; your possibilities are endless.
We know that this next year will bring many things: new words, developmental growth, and a continued unveiling of who you really are, and who you will become. You cannot fathom how blessed we feel to have you, my child, and our hearts overflow. You have turned our world upside down and inside out, and we cannot imagine it any other way. Happy 1st Birthday Addison. Our favorite book to read together closes it best: "I love you more, so much more, than you've ever known."