Dear Libby, you don’t remember the day you were born. But your Dad and I will never forget it. You should know that it is one of my most favoritest stories ever and I plan on making sure I tell it to you every chance I get….especially on your birthday. That’s one of the privileges bestowed on me by virtue of being your momma. Another is that I get to reflect on the year that has been and wonder what the one ahead will hold for you.
I am in complete denial that your birthday is only a few days away. Where have the last 365 days gone? Every time I look at you I marvel at how much change has taken place in a single year. Gone is the 7 pound newborn who didn’t know day from night, who would promptly fall into a restful sleep the moment she was snuggled into my chest, and whose cry morphed into the bleat of a billy goat when a requested diaper, feeding, or snuggle did not materialize in a prompt manner.
Nope, that Libby is just a memory now…tucked away with mental snapshots of other moments, seemingly ordinary but quietly precious – sleepy middle of the night feedings, the way you smell after a bath, the way you smile with your entire face scrunched up so that all we see is gums with two baby teeth poking through on the bottom. These are what fills my heart.
All that has made way for you to become an adventurous little person. You are developing clear preferences for things you like….and things you don’t. Your curiosity, like your energy, is boundless and it simply amazes me to watch you conquer your world.
I adore the fact that you learned to crawl so that you could chase the cat (I don’t think the cat was too happy about that development). And I’ve made it my own personal mission that one of your first words will be “cat”. It’s clear to me that you know what the word means because when I ask you “where’s the cat?”, you turn and look and point….at the cat. So we will keep playing “where’s the cat” where I keep repeating c-c-c aaaaaaaaaaaa t-t-t, cat. And eventually, something that sounds almost sort of like cat will come tumbling out of your mouth. After that maybe we can work on the idea of “gentle”? I’m sure the “cat” would appreciate that.
You are already starting to assert your independence and I can see that it frustrates you not to be able to do everything you want. All I can say about that is it’s my job to identify the boundaries. And it’s your job to push them. It’s part of the dance that we do.
And as surely as I know the sky is blue, I know that I won’t always get it right. There will be moments that I am not the parent I want to be, or the one you need me to be. I just hope that one day you will see that along with the truth of my imperfection you also saw the truth of my love for you.
Happy birthday dear Libby, I love you to pieces.