Let me start out by saying happy birthday! You’re officially a 1 year old (and Mommy and Daddy successfully navigated our way through 365 days of parenthood – I think that deserves a celebration as well!).
The second thing I’d like to say to you is thank you.
Thank you for being the absolute best unexpected news we’ve ever received. Thank you for bringing such joy and laughter into our lives. And thank you for challenging us in ways we never thought we’d be challenged…
Never in a million years did we think we’d fly cross country with a 3 month old and experience our very first blown out diaper mid-flight with the fasten seat-belt sign on due to turbulence outside the diaper…there was baby poop on Mommy’s nursing cape, on Daddy’s pants and, of course, up and down your back. And your belly. Talk about a humbling experience.
Never in my life did I think it would take me 4 hours to walk 1 mile. But one day, it did. You were only 6 weeks old and I thought it would be brilliant to take you and BOB out for a long walk (which would be fine most days because at that age, you’d just fall asleep). Well, not that day. You had other plans in mind. You wanted to scream. And eat. And scream some more. We stopped in 6 different places on that long walk home. None of which were very comfortable (including the stop where I nursed you under your blanket because I didn’t bring my cape and, of course, we were sitting in the middle of a damp grassy field at Fort Mason…oh, and the stop where I sat outside a bathroom on a bench where an old man decided to sit down right next to me while I nursed you. That was uncomfortable). And although I was certain we’d never make it home, I’m happy to say that we did…Mommy pushing BOB with one hand and carrying your little body in the other. We survived. And we went back out the very next day to do it all over again (successfully).
I always had a feeling parenting was going to be this challenging…but I never had any idea it was going to be this rewarding.
Abby, I have to be honest. I was so nervous to become your Mommy.
I knew that I’d be kind and that I’d love you forever, but I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to have that “extra awesome Mommy thing” that my Mom has. I was afraid I wasn’t going to have enough love or enough patience or enough of a lot of things.
But one day, early on, I think I realized that you made me be the Mommy I always wanted to be. It was a day where you wouldn’t stop crying…not matter what I did. So I sang to you. And I walked you up and down the hallway while you screamed in my ear. I held you close. I didn’t mind the screaming. I just wanted you to feel better. Nothing else mattered.
I think that was the day I knew I was doing okay as a Mommy. That was the day I knew you were helping me become a better person. A less selfish person. A more loving person. A more compassionate person.
Trust me, I still have my days where I feel like screaming or crying or both…and I still have my days where I wonder how I’m going to make it on my own until Daddy gets home. I still have so much to learn about being a parent and such a long way to go before I’ll feel like I’ve become “successful” at this whole Motherhood thing, but I do know that you make me want to be the best.
You’re my little best friend. My mini comedian. And my little munchkin who can light up any room or any face (even the homeless guy who stands outside of Walgreens) with the warmest smile I’ve ever seen.
At only 1, you’ve proven to have the funniest expressions, the most passionate cries, an impressive amount of determination, and the best dance moves on earth (particularly when LMFAO’s Sexy & You Know It comes on).
All I can ask of you in the years to come is to simply keep being Abigail. You’re smart, sweet, hilarious, and beautiful from the inside out. Daddy and I can’t wait to watch you grow up.
Abby…Happy Birthday. And once again, thank you. It’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without you in it.
Love you forever,