Today is your birthday. The first of what I hope will turn out to be many. You, little girl, have blessed and enriched our lives in ways innumerable. All of those ways for the better. Except for maybe the sleep thing you seem to fight.
Watching you grow and change this past year has been nothing short of amazing. You are so different from your brother at this same age and seeing you and then remembering him has been a welcome dose of nostalgia. It has brought to the surface all the things I thought I had forgotten. You have helped do that, little girl. You who entered the world with the capacity to fix my broken places.
The year hasn’t been an easy one, that’s for sure. We’ve all had our moments of utter frustration and exhaustion. There have been tears and lots of them.
You and I are quite the team. While I sometimes wish you loved climbing all over everyone else as much as you love climbing all over me, I happen to think we make a great pair.
I worry that I’ve done the right thing by keeping you so close. In truth, I’ve been kind of selfish with you, mostly because I look at your big brother and know just how quickly time passes. In a blink, you’ll be big like him.
Oh, your brother. One of your three favorite people in the world. You see him and you follow him and you so desperately want his attention. You’re also a little jealous of him when he needs me, so we’ll have to work on that.
A magic thing happened when you were born. My love doubled in size. There’s more than enough for the both of you.
Don’t worry, Little. He loves you, too. I hope you will always be his Baby Emma.
People often remark how serious you are. And you are definitely serious. You do not trust freely. That’s okay. Perhaps good even. There are those who seek to take advantage of others, and while I hope you do not encounter those people for quite some time, being discerning is never a bad thing.
Reserve your smiles for those who earn them. Some smiles will be earned more quickly than others, but you do not have to smile at everybody. Because I said so.
When we tickle your belly, your laugh comes from deep in your stomach. It’s infectious.
You aren’t content to sit still. If you’re awake, you want to move. Outside is one of your favorite places lately. Anywhere outside. In the swing, the driveway, on my hip, wherever. You just want to see it all and take it all in.
The times when you curl up into me while nursing or just for a quick snuggle are made sweeter by your desire to go and do everything all at once. Pace yourself, though. Life is long. You’ll have time to do it all.
Despite the fact that it gives me near daily heart attacks, you are already so brave. You explore. You climb. You run with wild abandon. You take risks.
You are so free.
You see the world and want it to be yours.
It is yours, sweet girl. All of it. But please share it and play nicely with others.