As I was getting things ready for your party yesterday morning, Daddy and I both turned and looked at you just walking by yourself in the living room. You paused to look at the TV and we both looked at each other and mumbled some comment about how it is so weird to see our tiny little human walking around looking like a toddler in our living room.
When I was pregnant, everyone kept telling me how fast time was going to go. I just politely smiled and laughed. But no, seriously, time flies. I remember laying on the operating table in the OR and hearing the doctor telling me to open my eyes so that I could meet my daughter. I remember fighting the cloudy haze I was in and opening my eyes and seeing you stare back at me. I whispered the words, Hello, Zoe. And my heart literally swelled and grew so much. I instantly felt this incredibly overwhelming love for you. I was so silly to worry when I was pregnant if we were going to bond right away. Of course we were, how could we not?
Those eyes of yours can move mountains and turn my day from horrible to amazing with one look from you. Your smile lights up my entire world. You have changed me in so many ways, all for the best. I am filled with such love, fear, wonder, pride. I know that I am not perfect. I appreciate that you are patient with me as I learn my new role as a mother. You have taught me so much. Patience, how to function on little to no sleep (haha!), to trust my gut instincts, to trust that you will show me what you need, and how much love I truly have to give. (Way more than I could have ever imagined.)
You went from this tiny little sweet smelling newborn who I cradled ever so delicately, to a smiley drooly happy baby who learned how to sit up. Then you started learning how to scoot around, which eventually lead to crawling. You were so proud that first time you pulled up to stand on your own. And now you are walking around the house pointing at everything with so much pride in your eyes. You are going to learn and grow so much this next year, and I am going to promise to do my best to be present and soak up every moment I can.
You have the most incredible snuggles, the best laugh I have ever heard. You have the sweetest little voice, and you might give a better side eye than me. Your personality shines through everything you do.
On your first birthday, my wish for you is that your smile is always so big, that it reaches your eyes. That you keep your sweet disposition and your hilarious sense of humor. That you remain curious and give yourself grace. That you still clap for yourself and keep your sense of pride in everything you do. And my main wish is that you know how truly loved you are. You are such an incredible little girl and I know you are meant to do great things.
I love you forever,