To my littlest love, on your first birthday:
Tomorrow you turn one and my heart feels as though it could explode. In all honesty, I have dreaded this day. This year has flown by, each month faster than the last, each day a blur. I tried to stop, or at least stall time repeatedly. Tomorrow is a milestone for us both, and one that I celebrate for you, but mourn for me. Tomorrow you will be considered a toddler, and my baby days are over. You are my last baby.
You have grown so much this year despite my best efforts to slow you down. I begged you to stay little, but you grew anyway. I pleaded with you to stay curled up on my chest, as you rolled off. I longed for you to stay still, as you crawled away and played with your toys instead. I was convinced I was all you'd ever need, but you found comfort and entertainment in your siblings, your daddy, the nanny... and #allthesnacks.
Tomorrow, you are one. But, here I sit, in the shadow of your bedroom window nursing you to sleep. I stare at your cheek, the outline of your ear, your fine wisps of hair, your eyelashes. My heart aches knowing these days are numbered. "I will breastfeed until they are one," I said about each of my babies. Tomorrow, you are one. I am officially abandoning that idea — I am not ready; and neither are you. We have made up the rules as we go, changing them along the way! You have given me grace, sweet baby. You have done everything slower than your brother and sister, and for that I am endlessly grateful.
Tomorrow, you are one. Soon, you won't need me to cuddle you to sleep. Soon, you won't need me to comfort you in the night. Soon, you won't need me to nourish you in a way only I can do. Soon, you will walk, and you will run. Baby girl, soon, you will fly! You will chase after your brother and sister, and then your dreams. Soon, you will be your own person, doing your own things. I will be your biggest cheerleader, your endless supporter.
Tomorrow, you are one. Today, tomorrow and every day, as long as I live, I will love you and cherish you. You have added so much love and joy to our family. I never knew something was missing, until you filled the space. I never knew I had so much love to share until you and your brother and sister taught me the infinite ability of my heart to grow. When you were born, it grew: it grew, and it grew, and it grew! So today, filled with love to the point of explosion, I know it has the ability to grow a little more.
Tomorrow, you are one.
Tomorrow. You. Are. One. I still can't believe it.
But today, you are not yet one. Today, you are still my baby.
In the words of the subtly ingenious Robert Munsch, "As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."
Happy Birthday, baby girl!
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