Although you won’t read this any time soon, I want to take a moment and reflect back on our first year…
I should have taken a hint from my labor and your delivery on what I had in store – you came a week early. The labor was fast and furious and I pushed less than 30 minutes – what an over achiever you’ve been since the get go.
From the moment you looked into my eyes, my world was changed forever. Then you wrapped your little hand around around my finger, and you completely melted my heart.
I am lucky that I have a mother who showed me, simply by loving me unconditionally, what a mother should be (you share your birthday with her too, by the way). However, I had no idea what I was doing when we took you home. You were so small and fragile, yet so feisty and strong at the same time. We spent many, many nights awake together. I studied your face, your sweet little dimple, your little freckle on your right thigh, your long lashes that I am so envious of. I never thought I would have enjoyed nursing you as much as I have. You were a pro and made it easy for me. We make a great team you and I, and this was clear from the get go.
As the days, weeks and months passed you continued to impress me. You teach me something new every day. You rolled over quickly, you were sitting up by 5 months of age, crawling by 6 months, pulling to stand by 7 months and you took your first steps before 9 months. You are now walking everywhere and getting stronger and stronger everyday. When you are on the move or eating, you insist on having something in each hand. Always. You started swim lessons last week, and true to fashion, you were floating independently and turning by day two of lessons. You wave, blow kisses, say your name, go up and down the stairs independently, feed yourself, and are just so curious about the world around you. You have this incredible fake laugh that I can’t get enough of. You make me laugh every single day. The word “mama” coming out of your mouth is like kryptonite and I am rendered powerless to you. You give the best hugs in the world. Then you pucker those lips and your kisses are equally as perfect.
Times aren’t always perfect. There were more times than I can count that I wanted to give up. I spent many sleepless nights awake with you, with a test or work the next morning. There was your first trip to the mall – and my first lesson in making sure the diaper bag has wipes and an extra outfit packed. Then there was the time I fell asleep with you in bed on the edge, and at 3am you rolled your little self right off the edge. That was a low moment for me – but you seemed to do just fine. You also hated the car and your car seat in general until just recently. Traveling even short distances with you screaming and me helplessly driving was rough. You are so adventurous, and are always on the go – and this sense of adventure on little, unsteady legs has resulted in a fair share of bumps and falls. Only the first of many I’m sure. Calming you until you stop crying is as beneficial for you as it is for me. My heart feels your physical pain. To see you upset or hurt is by far one of the worst feelings in the world. Before you have a child, no one can prepare for that.
You have changed me in more ways than you’ll ever know. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to work harder to always be able to provide you with the best life possible. Making you smile is worth more to me than anything else in this world. You’ve taught me so much about life and about myself. I’ve learned patience. I’ve learned to trust that mom instinct that I still sometimes question if I truly have it. I’ve learned you can’t hold or rock a baby “too much”. Man I loved just laying with you, and you sleeping on my chest those first few months. There are few things in this world that compare to that. We coslept, I held you most hours of the day, I wore you in multiple baby slings, we rarely let you cry it out in the beginning – and now – you are well adjusted, happy, social, independent little girl who puts herself to sleep. As you’ve grown and met milestone after milestone, I learned you will not be a baby forever and I have to let go to allow you to become the person you are destined to be.
Harper, you are by far the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. Being your mother has been the greatest adventure of my life and the most challenging. I am seeing our world through your innocent eyes and see beauty in the simple things. I hope years from now, (maybe when you’re a teenager and think I’m ruining your life), you always know how much I love you. I hope you know how special you are and as cliché as it sounds, I hope you always know that you can do anything you want in this world. You will change the world. You’ve changed my world. I hope you never lose your excitement over the little things, your sense of adventure, and genuine caring and loving ways. I hope you treat others the way you want to be treated. I hope you love yourself and know how beautiful you are. But above all, never forget how loved you are.
Happy 1st Birthday, Harper. We did it! I look forward to celebrating many more milestones and birthdays with you!
Photos done by Photo de Chavannes <3
Check this video out to watch Harper grow week by week.....