I've been trying for days, weeks really, to write this letter to you. But how do you sum up one year of firsts into a few paragraphs? So I'm going to do the best I can, sort of like what I've been doing for the last 365 days as your Mama. Here goes nothing...
One year ago today I held you in my arms for the first time and, as cliche as it sounds, I fell in love. Hard. For the record, I really was concerned that I wouldn't right away, I was convinced it would take me a while to warm up to you and the idea of being a Mom. Life has a funny way of surprising you and it sure as hell slapped me upside the head with the humor stick. In those first few days we were inseparable, and then those days turned to weeks and weeks to months. Okay, lets face it, for most of your first year of life you hated everyone except me. I guess from your point of view if they didn't have a boob that produced milk then what was the point? You still don't like a lot of people, mainly close relatives (like Grandma, and Pappy, and most of your great aunts and uncles...) but you're getting better and more accepting of people breathing the same air as you. And we're not going to even talk about the months of colic. Baby steps, hon, baby steps.
Speaking of baby steps, you're starting to get the idea that those cute little feet of yours are made for walkin' and you love to walk around when someone holds your hands. This is great fun for you and my future chiropractor thanks you in advance for all the money we will be spending on therapy for my poor, sore back. Oh, speaking of therapy, you learned how to climb the entire flight of stairs just the other day and if you don't give me some advance warning the next time you're about to climb them again then Mama's poor nerves won't be able to take another instance of turning around and seeing you half-way up to the second floor.... Alone... Unassisted... With no one watching your back if you decide that you want to go back down the stairs. I can feel the gray hairs popping out of my head just thinking about it.
You have become a great lover of books lately and this thrills me to no end. I love your books as much as you do, so whenever you bring me a book I am only too happy to sit and read it with you. Well, reading is not really what we do... I try to read the words to you and you want to flip the pages in rapid succession, as quickly as possible. You get so excited to see what's going to happen next, to see what lies behind each page, that you shake like a frigid chihuahua. I'm going to miss that excited look when it goes away, like the other cute idiosyncrasies that you developed and discarded. I should get used to this as you change before my eyes everyday. I'm going to ask you this one time - Stop changing. Please, I'm begging you. I like you this way... Sans attitude, of course. Your mood swings rival a teenager whose first real crush told her that he liked her best friend. Bad example. I really don't want to think of you as a teenager with a crush, it makes me physically ill.
I don't want to think of you getting involved with some boy who will break your heart. It will happen one day, I know that and I'll just have to accept it then, but I don't have to like it. For now, though, I'll share you with Daddy, and that's it. You're my partner in crime, my constant companion. The one person in the world who needs me to help them exist. Bub, I have so much to teach you... Like, its okay to love crummy music. Never let someone else dictate what you should like or dislike. Follow your heart and your head. Dance, even if you stink at it, because people respect reckless abandon even if it looks like an epileptic seizure. And if they don't, screw 'em if they can't take a joke. Make your own trends. Work hard, even if its not the most glamorous of jobs. There is honor in everything that you do well. And, if you love something, never, NEVER, half-ass it. I've got lots more, but I have years to teach you this stuff. And if the last year is any indication, the next 17 will pass in the blink of an eye. It makes my heart hurt just thinking about it.
You are my love, my heart, and my soul. You are all of my hopes and dreams. My babaloo, my Chicky Baby. And today you are my one year old daughter. Happy first birthday, Julia. May all my dreams for you come true.
All my love,