I'm not sure how we got here but even now it has been almost 2 weeks since your birthday and I am still left scratching my head in amazement at just how quickly your sweet little life has flown. We spent so many long, excruciating days and nights together when you first joined us... I remember thinking that I would be exhausted and frazzled forever. The day when you cried THE ENTIRE DAY and I tried every single thing in the book of tricks from feeding you, to a car ride, to rocking, to walking with you... but you still cried and did not nap FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND that day. But, of course, it passed. One day a the switch just flipped and you started sleeping like a dream and smiling more than crying. Things were definitely tough with you and I have felt myself change more in the past year than any other of my life. Humility, patience, tolerance, faith, sacrifice, self awareness... all of these things have been vastly increased inside of me since this time last year. You've made me such a better person and mother. I am so incredibly thankful God chose you to be ours.
I remember the first night I was alone with you in the hospital. We had already been there for 2 nights with your daddy and he simply HAD to leave the third night to be with you sister at home. I felt so alone, sad and GUILTY. Guilty for not loving you like I loved your sister. I felt very sad and like an utter failure that I couldn't make you stop crying. I had no idea what you were going through and I also had no idea how much I would connect with you over the coming months. I was the only person you seemed to trust (still am, often times!) and how many times I heard your cry and came to your rescue and felt you instantly relax in my arms. Many nights you slept snuggled up to me in bed, even though I swore I'd never sleep with a baby and the stern warnings of books and doctors alike surrounded me, and while I never actually "slept" a lick I remember just staring at your sweet face and wondering who you would be as you grew.
Watching you turn from a little blob in to the sweet, silly, snugly and strong willed personality that you are today has been such a joy. I love watching you sleep, snuggled up to your lovey while on your tummy and breathing deeply. I really love watching you and your big sister play and laugh and talk in your own special sister language. You're certainly quick to cry but at the same time so quick to smile and laugh and very happy to be in mommy's arms. You are surprisingly brave and fearless and I regularly find you JUST ABOUT to get in serious trouble or hurt yourself. In fact, taking my eyes off of you is really just never wise at this point. I always wondered if I'd be gutsy enough to stick my finger down a choking child's throat and boy, have you ever taught me that I will do ANYTHING in a moment of mommy adrenaline.
I'm not sure I even remember what life was like before you at this point. I often marvel that I must have had a ridiculous amount of time on my hands because you have redefined motherhood and time management for me. I think that you will always be my baby. We have this special kind of bond that I've never known. I sometimes feel like I know you better than I've ever known anyone in my life. I am so excited to see what your next year holds.