Ten months ago, you arrived in this world and illuminated it. It seems impossible now to imagine my life without yours.
As our first mother’s day approaches, I have a few confessions to make: I’m officially addicted to your smile (I make the silliest sounds and faces just to see it again–and again and again). I travel to faraway places, get lost, and find my way back home–all just by gazing into your sky-blue eyes. I like looking at your poop (weird, I know, but weirdly true).
From the moment I knew you were growing inside of me, I couldn’t wait to meet you. I guess you couldn’t wait either–because you arrived 3 weeks early. When we watch the 4th of July fireworks together this year, I’ll think they’re for you. You were born small (6 lbs, 19 inches) and with a yellowish tint–officially called jaundice, but I like to think it was the first sign of your sunny disposition.
Right from the start, even though you took a while to gain weight, you were strong and cheerful and vivacious. You still are, such a happy babbling baby. But in those first few months, we spent hours together making sure you had enough to eat. I loved those times when you’d nuzzle up close against my chest, sucking milk into your little body straight from my body (it amazes me still!), then dozing off, and eyes closed sip a little more.
These days, you crawl all over the place but mostly you just want to stand up. Repeatedly. You grin each time you rise and look around, seeming both proud and utterly surprised to be in such a strange new position. Then you settle in, wiggling and wobbling along, taking big bold steps, trying to balance yourself while holding onto my hands. You love the swings, smiling wildly and squealing with delight as I push you higher and higher. You can’t wait to try new foods. You like to be on the move (by foot, car, or subway). You want to see and touch and taste and experience everything around you, a traveler already. Your wanderlust started early, my little adventurer, and I know that you will embark on many great journeys throughout your life.
One day, a long time from now, you’ll spread your wings and fly. But thankfully, I have years to get used to that idea. For now, I’ll keep cherishing the way you smile at me first thing in the morning. And I’ll sing you lullabies for as long as you’ll listen. I’ll always kiss you goodnight. Most important, remember this: Wherever you go, you’ll always be a part of me and I a part of you. As E.E. Cummings wrote, “I carry your heart in my heart.”
I love you always, forever, and beyond,
(PS. If you’ve read this far, thanks. I know this is a more personal–read: sappier–post than I usually write. In full disclosure, I borrowed the idea from Babble’s Baby’s First Year blog, where the heartfelt letters from other writers inspired me and just put me in a mushy sort of mood. Check it out–but you might want to keep a tissue box nearby. Happy mother’s day.)