Forgive me for posting this a week late, but it has been a non-stop whirlwind of activity lately! None so important or as emotional for me as my baby girl's first birthday on April 9, 2012.
To Eliana On Your First Birthday,
You will never know what this year has meant to me, how much joy and love you have brought into my life. I will remember the moment I first heard your cry for the rest of my life. It is a beautiful sound that echoes in my head and my heart constantly and I will be happy to replay it forever. I can't believe how quickly that sweet sound has gone and been replace by the glorious noise of your giggles and first words. Watching you grow and change throughout the first year of your life has been nothing short of amazing. Each day you give me and your Daddy new reasons to smile, new reasons to shed happy tears and new reminders of how unbelievably grateful and lucky we are to be your parents. I thought I knew love in the first moment I held your tiny body close to mine, just moments after you were born, but this year has shown me that I will never know just how deep and big my love can grow because each day I fall even more in love with you and and the amazing person you are already becoming.
You have such a unique personality and I love getting to know the things that make you, you. You adore books and kitties, always squealing with excitement for both. You like to share and to pretend to feed me and your baby, scooping invisible food from an empty cup onto a spoon. You love to giggle and dance and clap. You really are a very happy baby and people you meet in the store or on the street are always very excited to tell you that. You are dying to be even more mobile than you are already are and you get very frustrated if you're stuck in my arms or your carseat for too long. You love to communicate and have started picking up new signs within minutes and excitedly adding them to your vocabulary, as well as attempting to verbally repeat a lot of what Mommy and Daddy say. You're also a bit of a daredevil and you seem to enjoy the adrenaline rush of a slight scare. You have a toy monster that sings and dances and every time you see him, you squeal and beg to see him sing. But he also freaks you out and you always whine a little and reach for Mommy if he gets too close. We can't put him away though because you instantly cry and sign "more" to see him again and again, even though you're still a little scared. Only a year old and already standing up to your fears. Such a brave girl.
I have to admit I am a little sad to say goodbye to your first year of babyhood and all of those precious infant behaviors that you'll never get back, like the sweet "ooo" face you made as you stretched your arms and legs during your first few weeks home, and the sweet coos of contentment you made before you learned to make more distinct sounds and the adorable way you slept all wrapped up like a burrito in your swaddle. Those days were far shorter and flew by far faster than I could have dreamed. I would keep them forever if it didn't mean missing out on the joy and excitement of watching you grow up. As amazing as your infancy was, watching you venture into toddler-hood has been an incredible adventure. There nothing quite like seeing you figure out a new skill for the first time. The look of curiosity, determination and pride on your face is breathtaking. I hope and pray that these attitudes will stay with you for life. For my part, I will do my absolute best to nurture and encourage you to continue to be exactly who you are. I will do everything I can to ensure that you grow to remain the amazing person you already are at a year old: curious and playful, determined and daring, friendly and giving and most of all happy and excited about life. I will do everything in my power to make sure you always have a truly happy life full of love and joy, because that is what you have given me just by being here and you deserve nothing less. I love you, Snow Pea. You are the light of my life and my world is forever brighter with you in it. Thank you for giving me the best year of my life so far. Happy 1st Birthday, Eliana.