Baby ‘Bee, as I write this on your first birthday, I realize I should start calling you Little ‘Bee instead. We’ve come so far in just one year, and you are lighting up our lives in ways I could never have imagined. But you will always and forever be my Baby ‘Bee.
You are curious, friendly, independent minded, and an absolute sponge. I need only show you something once or twice before you’re able to try it out alone–just this week you’ve started to use your own fork and spoon, you love to clap, you’ve started to give us hugs and kisses, and you push your little walker around the house like a woman on a mission. Your favorite signs are ‘book’, ‘dog’, and ‘bath’, and you eagerly shout out “dat”! when you want to see that thing that I am holding.
I’ve never seen a little girl as friendly as you. Everywhere we go, you smile and wave your little princess-wave, bringing smiles to the faces of everyone in sight. “Haaaa!” you tell them, imitating “hi” and lighting up your bright blue eyes. It reminds me of the idea I heard once that babies are born with no enemies, and wouldn’t the world be so lovely if we all continued in that way?
My heart is more full than I ever thought it could be, and having you in our lives has made my love for Dad grow even greater. How amazing that such a small person can do that for us! When I think back to life before you, it seems so empty, so one-dimensional, and almost self-indulgent. Where our weekends use to involve lazy reading mornings and happy hours around town, we now spend 45 minutes examining different blocks, and then practice our cow moo-ing sounds for the next 15 minutes. We don’t have much to show by the end of a weekend, except for a messy floor and a mountain of laundry. And smiles. Lots of smiles.
This first year has been a whirlwind as we’ve tried to find our way with being a family. It sometimes feels as though a day can last forever, but when I look back at the last 365 I feel like we’re on fast-forward. I can’t wait to see what the next 365 have in store for you, and how you’ll experience the world in tiny pieces every day. With each moment you’ll be moving closer to creating and discovering what makes you you. But you’ve already done something pretty amazing: you made us a family, and you made me a mother. For that, I will always think of you as my Baby ‘Bee.
(February 4, 2014)