Dear Zoey:

I decided that I would write you a letter on your birthday every year until you tell me you don’t want them anymore.  The advantage this year is that you can’t talk and tell me that you don’t want one….I figure I’ve got at least a few years of letters to write.

I watched you sleeping this morning.  I brushed the long dark hair from your eyes and stroked your cheek.  You have such soft, beautiful skin – such a beautiful face.  You were snuggled up next to me, curled up in the space between me and your Daddy – close to my heart – forever where you belong.

I think back on this day a year ago.  I got up and got ready to go to the hospital, finished (over)packing my bag and struggled to tie my shoes – your Daddy had to help me – my belly was big and round.  I slowly, with his help, walk through the snow to the car and settled in for the hour ride to Chapel Hill.  I was nervous and excited and anxious that everything would be alright.  At 9;51am, there you were.  So beautiful, so pink, so sweet.

Over the past 12 months, you developed from the quiet, sweet baby I brought home to a fun, sometimes willful, chatty little social butterfly.  You are almost walking – you taken steps without holding on but prefer to hold Mama or Daddy’s hands as you cruise around the house.  You’ve said “Mama,” “Dada,” “Dogh,” and “Baba.”  You crawl around like crazy and are a speed demon with the walker.  Your favorite foods are sweet potatoes and peaches and macaroni and cheese.  You are such a good eater.  You love people as long as your Mama is nearby.  You can’t wait to walk/run.  You love books and your favorite seems to be “Count My Kisses Little One.”

You were a giraffe for Halloween – the sweetest little giraffe that I’ve ever seen.  You helped me make Christmas cookies and devoured your first one, giving me the sign for “more” over and over again.  You took your first plane ride and trip to California in August.  You were a dream on the plane.  You are always such a great baby.  Christmas was so much fun.  You tore open presents and then ignored them, heading to the next wrapped box like a baby godzilla with a grudge.  Your favorite presents seemed to be the blocks from Aunt Amy and the Abby Cadabby doll from Aunt Angeline.

I can’t wait to see what next year brings.  This year has flown by and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy you.  Like this morning – just watch you sleep.

I love you Zoey.  You are the best thing I’ve ever done.  At some point in your life, that statement will embarrass you.  Too bad.  It’s true.

Just remember, I will always be….

Your Mommy.

First Birthday Party

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