My dearest Elizabeth,
I can’t believe we’re here already. It feels like yesterday that I got to hold you for the first time.
You are growing ever more beautiful, and you’re smart – I stand amazed at how you figure out new things each day. You’re becoming your own little person, and as difficult as it is to admit you’re my little baby a little less every day, that is something incredible to behold.
As the Psalmist said, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The world has become a bit more scary in the past year, but every day good things happen as well, if you know where to look for them. This past year we’ve embarked on a grand adventure, moving to a new home with new things for you to see and do. I’m sorry for all the stress and disruption it caused you, but you did brilliantly. I’m so proud of you.
You’ve learned what it is to be hurt, tired, uncomfortable, and frightened. But I know you also know what it feels like to be loved, to be cared for, and to be safe, though you can’t name those feelings yet. You’ve learned that if you call, someone comes, and that’s much more than many people know.
You were born knowing how to cry, but you’ve since learned to laugh, something you do every day, and it’s the most beautiful sound that exists in this universe. I understand why that’s the sound the story says gives birth to fairies…
There’s a big year ahead of you. A year in which you’ll learn to walk and talk, and start to take care of yourself in little ways. You’ll learn to make choices, and with that you’ll make mistakes. It will be a while still before you’ll learn about regret, but in the coming year you’ll definitely start learning about consequences, even if you won’t quite understand them yet.
I want you to know that I’ll be there each step of the way. I won’t always do the right thing. Some days I’ll act without thinking. Some days I’ll hurt you without meaning to. But I’ll do everything I can to be there when you need me, to teach you and guide you and protect you.
This parenting thing is very much a case of making it up as you go along, but you seem happy, so I think we’re doing it right. I can only hope one day when you read this that you’ll agree with me.
Happy Birthday, my child, and good luck with the next year of your life. It’s gonna be awesome.
With all my love,