Just the other night you woke up unexpectedly around 11:00pm, and it took some extra rocking with your daddy to get you to go back to sleep. When he got back in bed, he immediately turned to me and said, “Man, I love her so much. I love her so much it hurts. Can you believe she’s ours?”
A year ago today, you decided it was time to enter this world, forever changing our lives, our hearts. I remember it like it was yesterday, yet at the same time it seems so far away. How has an entire year gone by? Didn’t I JUST hear your dad say, “It’s a girl!” Weren’t we just in the hospital, surrounded by family and friends and nurses and doctors, talking about how much you looked like your daddy?
You still do, you know… look like your daddy.
In the blink of an eye you were smiling, cooing, laughing, rolling over, sitting up, clapping, scooting, crawling, pulling up, cruising, walking, running.
In the blink of an eye you’ve transformed from a newborn, to an infant, to a baby, and now – a toddler.
In the blink of an eye you’ve become a little person with a huge personality.
It’s so surreal for me to think back on this day one year ago, as I sat in the hospital bed, patiently waiting as you took your time deciding when you were REALLY ready to make your debut. So much has happened throughout this year, and I’m so proud of us – our little family of three. I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud to be YOUR mama.
These days, you’re quite the ham. When we’re out and about, you like to wave and smile at anyone who walks by. You can’t stand to be too contained for too long, so time spent in a stroller/carseat/grocery cart/my arms must be limited. You want to get down and GO. And by go I mean walk and/or run.
Oh, and climb. That’s right. Just when we thought we’d completed our baby-proofing to-dos, you figured out how to climb on top of the ottoman and couches. So much for the den being the safe room.
You’re also quite verbal these days, saying a handful of words – that, dog, mama, dada, light, water, shoes, and please are just a few. You, in my humble opinion, are also brilliant. You know that a cow says moo, you can do four different baby sign language signs (more, milk, all done, and please), and you know the location of your eyes, ears, hair, tummy, and toes.
You also throw your hands up in the hair when we ask, “How big is Cameron?!” and clap to, “If you’re happy and you know it…”!
Like I said, brilliant.
You still love Ellie, but also have a newfound attachment to Melvin the monkey.
You also have a newfound attachment to your daddy. He kinda loves it.
You’re still a pretty good eater, and we’re kinda sorta starting the weaning process. However, you’re still not buying into the taste of cow’s milk… but we’ll get there eventually. I honestly have mixed emotions about letting go of our breastfeeding journey, but I do think we’re both almost ready to close that chapter.
Speaking of mixed emotions, you turning one feels awfully bittersweet. I’ve been dealing with an array of emotions for the past few days – sadness, excitement, anticipation, worry, nostalgia, and happiness. This has, without a doubt, been the best, most challenging, most rewarding, most incredible year of my entire life. All because of you, my bug.
You made me a mama.
You gave me the best job I’ll ever have.
YOU chose ME.
And I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel worthy of your love… if I’ll ever feel like I’m enough for you. Every single day I’m in awe of you, and to be quite honest, you make me want to do better – to be better. You make me want to carve out our little corner of the universe and fill it with memories and happiness and sunshine.
But we both know life is not full of just those things – happiness and sunshine. Or else how would we appreciate the ups from the downs?
Just the other day your dad and I took you to the Dixie Classic Fair for the very first time. We pulled up to the animal exhibits, took you out of your stroller, and stood in front of a horse.
I will never forget the look on your face.
You were so in awe of this creature standing in front of you… And I mean, it was simple, you know? It was just a horse. But it was the first time you had ever seen a horse, or any animal that large. You just stared with your big brown eyes, taking in the way he twitched his tail, stomped his hooves, made little sounds.
And the rest of the evening was like that – you soaking in every sight, every sound. And your dad and I smiled for the entire two-and-a-half hours we were there, watching you revel in the newness of it all.
And I realized how much I have to look forward to. How I get to see you as you see things for the very first time… watch your eyes grow in wonder, look at me questioningly, light up with excitement. How I get to watch you experience life and all it has to offer – the sunshine, the rainbows, the puddles, the skinned knees, the bikes with no training wheels, the jumps off the diving board, the cupcakes, the heartbreaks, the tantrums, the grass-stained knees, the wins, the losses, the first ponytails, the tooth fairy, the monsters under your bed, the dance classes, the soccer games, the hopscotch, the first day of kindergarten, the first pet, the vacations, the boyfriends, the teenage years, the first school dance, the teaching you how to drive, the letting you borrow my car, the prom, the graduations, the wedding day…
So yes, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that your baby days are almost a thing of the past… but how can I be sad when there is SO much to look forward to as your mama? In just one short, quick year, you’ve brought more joy into my life and into my heart than I even knew was possible. And I get to be YOUR mama for the rest of our lives!
HOW in the world did I get so lucky?
For some reason, God decided that we were made for each other – mama and daughter – me and my bug. And while I’ll never know what I did to deserve having you as a daughter, I will work the rest of my life to be the kind of mama you deserve.
I love you, my sweet, silly, wild, happy, beautiful Cameron Kate. Happy 1st Birthday and remember… the fun has just begun.