I don’t write you these letters often. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that when I try to write down how I feel about being your mom and what you mean to me, all of a sudden the words don’t seem like enough. But today? Today is a special day because it’s your first birthday so I’m going to give it a try.
When I was pregnant with you, I knew I loved you but I was scared that I wouldn’t have that maternal thing most people talk about. I’ve never been very warm and fuzzy and truthfully, I’ve always found it hard to open up and really love unconditionally. I worried that you would need more than I could give. I worried that I wouldn’t feel the bond with you that mothers feel with their children.
Then you came along. And not only was I surprised by you being a girl (we were just so convinced you were going to be a boy!) but I was surprised by how much and how ferociously I loved you. Instantly. And though I’ll always regret the two days of labor and subsequent C-section that was necessary to bring you into the world because by the time you arrived, I was too exhausted and foggy to even remember the first time I held you or the first time I nursed you, I will never forget the first time I saw you and how I felt when I looked at your beautiful face.
I’ve learned a lot in the last year. I’ve learned that I have a capacity for love that I honestly didn’t think was possible. I’ve learned that I would do anything for you. Anything. I’ve learned that your Dad is the best, most caring man and father I ever could’ve asked for. I’ve learned that your laugh makes everything ok. I’ve learned that when you smile that awesomely wide smile, the right side of your nose scrunches up right by the corner of your eye and it never fails to melt my heart. I’ve learned that you are one ridiculously stubborn and determined kid; you will not be stopped when you decide you want something. I’ve learned that you have a great sense of humor and you are goofy and funny. I’ve learned that you’re strong and tough, even after you get hurt. I’ve learned that you crawl faster than most people walk and probably because of that, you seem to have no desire to learn how or even try to walk. I’ve learned that you don’t sit still, even when you’re sleeping. (Seriously, I’ve never seen anybody move around in their sleep as much as you! We go in to check on you every few minutes and you’re always in a different spot in your crib. Your Dad was saying we should videotape you one night and do a time lapse just to see how much you move around.) I’ve learned that you love to eat paper and would eat an entire magazine if we didn’t stop you. But food? Meh, food doesn’t interest you all that much. I’ve learned that you are surrounded by love as you get constantly spoiled by so many members of your family that can’t seem to get enough of you.
Oh, I could go on and on. Peanut, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. You make me forget myself and all my nonsense – something I didn’t think was possible. You make me believe in a higher power of some kind. You make a crappy day immediately uncrappy the second I pick you up. You make me feel bad for all the times I gave my mother a hard time because I now know that if she loves me even half as much as I love you, I must’ve hurt her more than I’d like to think about.
Your personality, so clear even from day one, has really come through in the last few months. Your Dad and I talk all the time about what kind of person you’re going to grow up to be. We hope you’re the best parts of both of us and so far, that seems to be the case. Your wicked sense of humor, your fearlessness, your (often exhausting) non-stop activity, your curiosity, your intelligence, your easy-going and yet demanding nature (how can you be both? yet somehow you manage it…a true Gemini, I suppose), your thoughtfulness…all these things make up the person that you are and it’s the best thing in the world to see.
You are amazing. Happy Birthday Peanut! We love you beyond measure and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.
[Peanut’s birthday was actually 2 days ago but between the awesome party our families threw for her and the day-after an awesome party crankiness (hers and mine!), it took me longer than I expected to write this.]