A Blog for My Daughter

Words from a Mother

As this day has approached I have tried to reflect on this past year.  On all of my experiences and milestones as a parent.  My god, there is just so much.  This past year has been the most challenging and also the most amazing.  I mean, every day I get to wake up to a beautiful smiling face, that actually wants to see me.  What else could I ask for?

I’ve been trying to decide the best way to write this blog.  I know, overthinking like usual.  But this is a very special blog.  This is the blog for my daughters 1st birthday.  A momentous day not just for her, but for me.  It’s a big day and it should be treated as such. So let’s start with a simple reflection on the year, because I cannot even begin to put together everything that has happened.

From day one, seeing her dark blue eyes I know my world was just changed forever.  At that moment, I thought all good things, that my like was going to be amazing and perfect.  And then over the next week I realized I was so very wrong.  I only remember one other time in my life shaking from exhaustion.  That first week bringing her home sucked so much.  It took so much out of me.  But then as the days passed, I started to get things down.  Now, I am not saying I know everything, and as I look back I might have done things differently on occasion, but everything started to fall into place.  It took a few months to be able to read her, but we learned from each other.  And that’s a lot of what parenthood is, a crap-shoot of guessing and learning.

I think back on all her milestones, the first time she smiled, when she first laughed.  Oh those giggles, I can’t help but smile every time I hear them.  When she started pulling up on things and walking along the tables and couches WAY TOO SOON.  By heart not only stopped from fear but also because I didn’t want her to get there yet.  It’s funny how you can say, “I’m so excited for when she can…”, and then when it happens think, “Crap, no!  Not yet!”.  Every time I kick myself for wishing it.

And then there were the harder times.  Only a few colds, and one not-so-fun stomach bug a couple days ago.  Nothing too horrible that couldn’t be handled.  But then there was the torticollis, and the plagio and braci that needed fixed.  Driving once a week downtown for physical therapy.  In the first month or so having to physically force her to look to the left and stretch her neck.  Listening to the cries, not of discomfort, or at least I hope not completely, but of not wanting to be forced.  My heart broke every time, and I cried.  In that moment I hated it, and now looking back I know it was worth it.  She showed such improvement so quickly because I stuck with it and did it.  Thank god I did.  And then getting her the helmet.  I hated that.  I hated that she had to wear it all day.  I missed out on 3 months of snuggling with her head and kissing it.  I know there was an hour a day, blah, blah, blah.  It was not enough.  We got through, we persevered, but I silently cried about it.

Then comes the breastfeeding, which is a big deal to me.  I know I have said it before, but I will say it again.  I did not think I would be able to breastfeed.  I had only experienced mom’s who weren’t able to, I didn’t know of moms who were successful.  So I was prepared to use formula, and I told myself over and over before she arrived that it was not the end of the world.  And here we are at a year, with no signs of stopping in the near future.  It blows my mind that Kahlan has essentially lived off my body for nearly 2 years.  It’s something that is extremely hard to wrap my head around.  All I do know is that I am lucky and so very happy that I have been able to give her this.  And also saved a crap ton of money on formula.

There is so much from this past year I could reflect on.  All the littlest things she has done, like her first ride on the swing.  How she laughed so much.  How she learned to push her high chair around and looked at me like it was the greatest thing ever.  Or when she started climbing stairs, and turned around to look at me with this look of “what mom, I’m just climbing some stairs”.  Or walking outside and picking up sticks and eating leaves…..ok, ok, enough.  It would take forever to write it all down.  That’s why I started this blog right, so that I wouldn’t have to remember it all.

So now to the sappy stuff, my message to Kahlan.

So here we are, your first birthday. It seems like only yesterday you were born. And that’s so cliché, but it’s truly a real feeling. I remember the plastic stick and how I cried in the bathroom.  I remember feeling your twirls and kicks, and listening to your heartbeat at the end of the day just loving the fact that you were mine.  I remember laying there in the hospital bed waiting for you to arrive and then you were there, and you were on my chest.  I remember looking at your father and smiling. I remember looking at your eyes, so very dark, and my world just got brighter.

Over the past year I’ve watched you go from a little meatloaf, to this crazy wild baby who runs around with shoes on her hands. Every day I’m amazed by how much you’ve changed in only one year. Seriously, in just one year you went from being unable to control your own movements to babbling, eating, feeding yourself, drinking from a cup, crawling, walking, bouncing, the list could keep going.  It’s just amazing every day when I think about how much you have learned, and how much you have taught me. I always wonder what you’re thinking, and how you view the world. I know right now you’re so trusting, and everything is beautiful, and I never want you to lose that. 

I love that you have my eyes.  I love your smile and cheeks.  I love your butt cheeks, they’re so freaking tiny and cute and so amazing when you’re walking to the bath.  I love how you have no fear and love to explore on your own, even though at the same time it scares the crap out of me.  I love your zombie kisses, and how you are finally starting to cuddle.  I love watching you play with your dad, and climb all over him in the morning to wake him up.  I love how you laugh when we put a blanket over you, or how you walk around with it on your head.  I love that weird hissing noise you make.  I have no clue where it came from, but I know you make it when you’re happy and content, so that makes it a wonderful noise to hear.  I love how you are so enamored by music.  Any type of music draws your attention away from everything.  I love how you bounce to music, up and down, up and down.  Your little butt moving along to the beat.  I love how you are able to talk with me using sign language, I get so excited when you learn a new sign.  I love that you bring me a book to read, and then when we are done, another book to read, and then another.  I love that you love books.  I love how you squeal when you get in your ball pit.  Still the best $15 ever spent.  I love to watch you play with other kids, and to see you interacting and being your own person.  I love how every once in a while you come back to me and sit in my lap if only for a few seconds to just “check-in”.  Don’t worry baby, I’ll always be there.  

I love you, more then you know.  More then I could have even believed possible.  You are my world and my everything.  I am so lucky to have you as my daughter, I am so lucky to have my life.  You are so special and you sparkle so bright.  There is no one in the world like you, and there never will be.  Every time I see you, every time I hear your voice, I am more alive, and even more in love with you.  You make me want to be a kinder person and a better person.  Knowing you, just having this blink of an existence with you, makes my life complete.

Happy Birthday my love, I love you today, tomorrow and forever.