Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Baby Girl,

One year. It hardly seems like a long time. But here we are. One year has passed and it seems as though this is, as it was with your siblings, just how it has always been. I've been trying to think of what I would say to you and I realized that it's what I've been saying to you all year.

Your brother and sister were pretty easy-going babies (minus a few sleep issues with your brother). You? You are the most laid-back baby ever. You will eat anything, you fall asleep with no fuss and sleep through the night, you are content to just be. I know that this may very well be the calm before the f'n 3's, but I'll take it.

You adore your brother and sister- nearly as much as they adore you. I didn't know how your brother would react to you, but he has become your biggest fan.

You have the strangest fascination with ears. It doesn't matter who is holding you, you will reach for their ears and begin tugging, folding and poking. You used to do it just to fall asleep, now you do it for comfort. Our ears are your security blanket.

I've enjoyed watching you this year. Watching the wonder in your eyes at each new thing.

The night you were born, we were alone in the hospital room. It was late and I held you in my arms. You looked up at me, waiting for something. I promised you that night that you would never have to wonder if I loved you.
You have no idea how important that promise is to me. And for that I am glad.

If there was only one word that we could use to describe you it would be 'happy'. My ever-smiling Josie. I hope you will always be able to find the joy in life.

You love watching people, checking their reactions to you and things around them. You like to test people by smiling at them and if they smile back, you make your scrunchy face to see if they'll laugh. If they don't, you start 'talking' to them. You are determined to make those around you as happy as you are. That's a pretty awesome way to be.

I have spent 12 months counting the rolls on your legs and arms, kissing your chubby little cheeks, nibbling on your baby feet, deeply breathing in that sweet baby scent on the back of your neck and whispering in your ear as we rock to bed. I am not eager to give this up and I hope you don't mind.

Yesterday, you crawled away from me to play with your brother and sister. Squealing and clapping your hands because they included you. It made me smile, but I admit I felt a little pang at seeing you become more independent.
Then you turned and looked at me, crawled over to get a hug and returned to play.
I will always be here for hugs.

There is no doubt about where you belong. You look so much like your daddy. It's amazing to see your face just light up when he gets home from work, to see how your world is so centered in us.

For as much as we are going to teach you, I hope you know how much you have already taught us. About patience, about being positive, about the capacity to love.

Happy birthday my wonder baby. The first of many.
Love, Mommy.