A year has gone by, and I am not sure how. This time of year makes me feel like I should be pregnant and nesting, because that’s exactly how life was one year ago. One year ago, I was nervous, happy, scared, and excited. I don’t know if I was ever technically ‘ready’, but on February 1, 2014, you were! I knew life would change drastically; but I didn’t know my heart would. I knew I would love you A LOT, of course. But the love I have for you is different from any love I’ve ever experienced, and it’ll never go away.
You have grown and changed so much over this first year. It’s truly amazing to watch. You are bright, curious, and inquisitive. You have shown us how brave, strong, and loving you are. You’re happy, and very funny (must get that from me). You’re developing into quite an impressive little human, and it is so gratifying and fulfilling to Dad and I. You are the daughter we’ve always wanted.
I hope you continue to take the world by storm.
You welcome everyone with a warm smile and a wave. Try to always see the best in people and have an open heart, just as you do now. If only we could all remember how loving our hearts were when we were one year old, this world would be better for it!
You laugh the best belly laugh I’ve ever heard. I hope you continue to see the joy in the world, and remember to make the best of a situation even when it is tough.
You may cry now when you get frustrated, but soon, those cries will turn into words. Words that you will be able to use to communicate your wants and needs to the world. Speak up, speak loudly. You deserve to be heard.
Stand up for what you believe in. Speak strongly about things you’re passionate about. Find people, and hobbies, and a job that you are passionate about. Hold on to them.
The world can be scary and intimidating. I hope you always remember how brave you are. You just fractured your leg, and had a cast on for three weeks like it was no big deal! And you’re only one! You can handle a lot. When there are times you don’t feel so brave, know that there are so many people who love you and want to help. Dad and I will always be there for you — any time of day or night.
You will need to make important decisions in your life. I hope you have all the confidence in the world to believe in the decisions you make. Go after what you want. I’ve let a lack of confidence hold me back at times, and I don’t want you to do that (so listen to your Mom!). You have a good heart. I believe in you, and I believe you can do anything you dream of. Always remember that, and believe it yourself. Word hard, and it will pay off.
Some decisions will be hard, and you’ll make mistakes along the way. That’s life! Everyone makes mistakes, and it is okay. Remember that it is okay, and don’t let guilt fester. Acknowledge your mistake, learn from it, move on. If you did something wrong, or hurt someone, apologize. Don’t make excuses, offer sincere words of apology. Life is too short to hold grudges.
Life is also filled of ups and downs, lefts and rights, bumps and bruises…but if you embrace every day — you will truly be living. Make the most of your days. Don’t pout for no reason, try not to complain too much (everyone has the right to complain, but why fill your days with complaint after complaint?), don’t harbor anger. Fill your heart with love. It is just better that way, I promise. Remember, your Mom is always right. ;)
If there is only one thing you get out of this letter, I truly want it to be this: make your bed, and clean up after yourself.
Kidding… (kind of…)
The most important thing is, to choose kindness. Offer a helping hand, defend someone, give them the benefit of the doubt, smile at people you pass, be polite, give up your seat to someone who needs it, do something nice for someone you love, visit someone who needs to talk, volunteer. It’s not always easy, but when you are someone who believes in kindness, you are able to see the good in people and you allow happiness in to your world.
I can’t believe you aren’t a ‘baby’ anymore. You’re charging right into toddlerhood. Although, you will always be my baby, you know that right?
I love you with my whole heart, and am grateful every day that I get to be your mom. I can’t wait for all of the adventures ahead of us! Thanks for an amazing year.
I love you,