Twelve months ago—and every day since—a 7-pound baby girl stole […]
Twelve months ago—and every day since—a 7-pound baby girl stole my heart. Believe me when I say I’m intimately acquainted with how quickly newborns turn into babies, and babies into toddlers, and toddlers into kiddos. But somehow, here I am, stunned that our baby’s first birthday is already here.
I sat down three separate times to write this post. And every time I came up short, with half-started sentences and unfinished paragraphs and all these ideas just out of reach. I wanted to write something that would perfectly capture so many things—how baffling it is that an entire year can zoom by so quickly, even when you’re there for every part of it. What an incredible gift it is to be the cornerstone of someone’s little life, especially because it’s so fleeting. How remarkable it is to watch a brand new little person grow and change and blossom into someone with a personality and opinions and a major attitude.
I wanted to write something about our amazing daughter that would be half as incredible as she is. But I can’t. It’s impossible to capture on paper (ahem, on the laptop) how adorable (and loud) her shrieks of laughter are when her siblings get her going. I can’t begin to describe how bleachy blonde and impossibly soft her fine hair is, or how intoxicating and familiar the scent of her little head is. How do I describe the precise shade of her dark blue eyes or the sweetness of her chubby little starfish hands? And how can I explain how excited she was the first time she had solids or how very proud she was yesterday when she stood up all by herself? Actually, I’ll take a stab at that last one: She was positively triumphant and immediately sat back down to give herself a round of applause while her brothers and sister danced around in celebration.
But some things defy description. How do I perfectly capture the emotions that surge through me when she reaches for me or lays her sweet little head against me? When I see her snuggled in her daddy’s arms or scootching after her brothers and sister, laughing and shouting? When she stares up at me while she’s nursing, and there’s so much love in those eyes it makes me want to cry?
There’s so much I want to share, because there’s so much I don’t want to forget. I’ve learned something tragic in the eight years I’ve been a mother: You forget things. You don’t think you will—because how can you possibly forget details like this?—but you do.
Every single week for the past year, I wrote something about our daughter and my experiences as her mother. Sometimes I got to write about big stuff, milestones, like first teeth and solid foods. Sometimes it was just to share that nothing major really happened. But today, on her first birthday, I am so grateful for this written record of her life … no matter how clumsily I wrote it. My hope is that when my memories get a little fuzzy around the edges, when I can’t quite recall the specifics of that first tooth or how desperate I was for her to be born, these stories will bring it all back.
And one day, I’ll get to share these stories I wrote about her with her. It’ll be a little window into a time she won’t remember, like a baby book but a thousand times better. And a reminder to me of one of the best years of my life.