I am writing this in the early hours of your first birthday. You are sleeping snugly beside me like you have done nearly every night of your life so far. I remember when your brothers were born how I felt like they were always supposed to be here. Meeting them was like meeting an old friend. Like they were an inevitable part of our lives that were always meant to be. But you, sweet girl, feel like best and brightest surprise of my life. Even a year later, I can hardly believe you are here. That you are really mine.
In one short year you have managed to develop a mega personality. You are silly, sweet, and a little bit ornery. You know what you want and you do not like the word no. (But who does, right?) You are a walking machine who cannot be stopped. You started saying mama this week and frankly it's making my life right now. You are almost always happy, as long as you are getting the attention you require. You're my most social baby yet. You want to be right in on the action, no matter what's going on. You are happy to leap right into the pile of wrestling brothers on the living room floor with a shriek and a giggle. And they are happy to have you join. To know you is to adore you. Even your big brothers are not immune to your charms.
When I walk in the door from work you light up and come dashing over to greet me with a squeal of delight and your signature smile with the tiny scrunched up nose. Little hands reaching up, clasping and unclasping until I pick you up and tuck you into place right there under my chin. Your little arms wrapped tightly around my neck and your head resting on my shoulder.
You were born on a Thursday in the early morning, but your dad and I had been up for over twenty four hours by the time you arrived. We spent that day holding you, loving you and introducing you to all your excited family members. When the day was done and night had finally arrived you would have thought I would have been exhausted. I'd been up for nearly two days, not to mention labored and delivered a baby in that time as well. But after the lights were out and daddy was fast asleep on the hospital room couch I lay there wide awake just soaking you in. I was too excited to sleep. Too amazed to feel tired or anything but complete euphoria. The hospital doesn't approve of co-sleeping with your newborn in your hospital bed, understandably. So all night long as the nurses would peek in the room to check in on us they'd see us snuggled up tight in bed and I'd hear an "um, excuse me..." as they noticed your empty plastic bassinet. I'd just look over, smile and assure them, "don't worry, I'm awake". I will never forget our first night together. Just you and I, quietly passing the hours away in our tiny hospital bed.
Thank you for this last year. Thank you for being here, and for making all my dreams come true.
Happy birthday, Ever Iris
I love you.