Happy 1st birthday to my sunshine girl!
As I was thinking about what I wanted to write to you for your first birthday, I was stood holding you in my arms before your nap, singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ as I have done so many times since the day you were born. I stood in front of the long mirror in our darkened bedroom, the bedroom which you still share with us, and it struck me. I wonder how many hours I have spent holding you like this before your naps and overnight when you’ve woken up? How many times have I kissed your soft cheeks before lowering you down into your cot, hoping that you find sleep for an hour or even two? Each day I hold you and as I start to gently sway my body and sing to you, the familiarity of this embrace melts your head onto my shoulder and you understand that it’s time to rest. I watch myself in the mirror holding you and in so many ways it’s this repeated moment that we share every day that epitomises my Motherhood journey with you. Holding you. Comforting you. Being close to you. Rarely apart and happiest together. Deeply connected to each other in so many ways.
I stand there with you, knowing how lucky we are to have you, ‘lucky’ not being a strong enough word at all. But before you, we lost one, a little tiny baby that is, merely the size of a blueberry but with a beating heart no less. We lost that little one but now we have you and you are nothing if not perfect. You have brought more joy into all of our lives than I could ever have imagined and ‘joy’ is the word I would choose if I could only pick one for you. So when I stand there with you, gazing at us together, Mother and daughter, little sister, my second baby girl, it is the true essence of love. A love that you can’t measure or put a figure on. A love far too big, magical and infinite to be captured by numbers or words. I’ve known this love for you from the moment we found out you existed inside my womb and that love has grown deeper and more heart-wrenchingly beautiful with every day since.
To me, this love is your smile, your nose wrinkle and the way you tilt your head back with glee when something makes you happy. This love is the way you, more than anyone, make your big sister laugh without even trying but by just being you. This love is the way I’ve fed you from my body, thousands and thousands of times, day and night, for hunger, for comfort, for hours or for seconds. This love is the way you’d stay attached to my hip all day if you could yet also what a little explorer you are, small but mighty, strong and adventurous yet always able to crawl as fast as you can to get back to me! This love is your facial expressions, your big blue eyes and your eyebrows (which you have me to thank for) and the way your face can tell a thousand words. This love is all the nicknames we’ve had for you from Sum Sums to Booki Bear to Chopstick and Bop Bop. Who knows how we arrived at any of them really, but they’re yours all the same. This love is how different you are to Jasmine and all that has taught me. This love is your adoration of food and how your high chair is your happy place, one knee raised up just to remind me of your chilled vibes. This love is you being born at home and the gift that birth gave to me. This love is every single part of you, inside and out and that we still have so much to discover about you. This love is all my emotions, the highs and the lows, the tears and the laughter that make up this past year. This love is a thousand memories of you, moments that have melted my heart, widened my smile and expanded by heart.
It’s not easy this first year but it is truly magnificent too and just now as I finish writing this letter to you, I’m overcome with a sadness that this year is ending. I know there are so many exciting things to come next, more ‘firsts’ and more love, but in many ways, if you could stay just as you are for even a little longer, I’d take every second I could get, perhaps with just a little more sleep at night.
I love you sweet angel,
Love, from Mama