My dear girl…
How can it be that an entire year has passed? How can it be that I’ve been this full of happiness, bursting-at-the-seams-with-love, for only one year?
How did I ever live a life without you?
It has only been a year, but I can hardly remember what life felt like before you arrived.
You entered this world with a force that I could never describe – one that washed over me instantly the moment your 6 pound, 9 ounce body was placed on my bare chest.
You entered this world with eyes wide open, peering into mine as if to say, “I’m here now Mama, let’s do this.”
You entered this world and I knew mine would be forever changed – but was still naive to the details of how.
Well, let’s just say I now understand what my own Mama (your Nonna!) meant for all those years when she would say, “You’ll never understand how much I love you…”
It may not make much sense to you for many, many, years to come, but it’s only fair that I try and describe what you mean to me, and why I owe you the best life possible in return for the one that you gave me, just one year ago.
I love you for the way you made me come alive, and helped me to fall in love with life’s simple pleasures.
I love you for the way you helped squash any of my feelings of self-doubt, and reassured me of my strength with each hug and coo of comfort.
I love you for the way you hold my finger, the same way now as your first day on this planet, tight and with a grip that declares your need for me.
I love you for the way you’ve made me love your Daddy, when I already thought I loved him as much as I possibly could.
I love you for the way you brighten every day, and for the way your happy spirit takes over any stress I may be feeling and washes it away.
I love you for the way you light up any room, and for the way you command the attention of everyone around you – don’t ever stop doing that, it’s incredible to watch.
I love you for the way you make the life I lived before you seem so worth it. Like I’d live through the pain and the loss and the heartbreak a million times over if I knew it would always lead me to you.
I love you for the way you’ve brought out the very best in me, filled my soul with purpose, given me meaning and reason to smile, 100 times a day at least.
There are so many more reasons my sweet Bella, but I fear that by the time you are old enough to read this you’ll be rolling your eyes at me and be too busy getting ready to change the world that you won’t have time to finish my note.
Because you will change the world, my love. There is something so intense about you. The way you exercise your independence in everything you do. The fearless way you approach everything.
So, my love, here is what I’ve got for you…
After what you’ve done for me in only one year, I promise to spend the rest of my life repaying you – with endless love, support, guidance, respect and honesty. I promise to always help you find the best in yourself like you’ve done for me. I promise to give you everything I’ve got, and when it’s not enough, I’ll find a way to give you more.
I promise you will never have to feel the way I felt as a little girl, not if I can help it, you can trust me on that.
A year used to come and go like anything else… but now, in only a year, you’ve given me an entire life’s worth of love.
Happy First Birthday, sweet girl.
Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for being you. Thank you, for this love.