Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dear Emmylou,

What a milestone; you're a year old today! Of course I could say that it has flown by in the blink of an eye, but that can't even begin to describe what it's been like watching you change from that little critter of a newborn to my toddler with her newly-discovered strong will. I remember the first time I saw your face, shocked that I was now the proud owner of a real, live, actual baby. It's funny, because during the pregnancy I couldn't visualize what you'd be like, what I'd be like with a baby, and of course, now, I can't imagine life without you.

Your daddy and I were talking today about that morning one year ago when you came into our lives and how we'll never forget that hospital room in Baltimore, those moments spent meeting you for the first time and then getting to know you, both of us wondering how to hold, feed, clean, and comfort you-- without breaking you. It amazed me that they let us take you home from the hospital without some sort of certification course or licensing, but I guess we knew what we were doing since we've managed to keep you alive for one whole year, and better yet, you seem to be thriving. I can't exactly pinpoint the date when we finally stopped checking every 30 minutes while you slept to make sure you were still breathing or when we decided that the 5-second rule was a fantastic idea for our household, but I guess we both gained confidence in ourselves and each other and things somehow sorted themselves out.

It's been unbelievable how much you've changed in only the past few weeks. It's almost like you knew you had a special birthday coming up and were preparing for the occasion! You are walking all over the place, although you still like to crawl when you really need to get somewhere in a hurry or if you're wearing socks or something slippery on your feet. You're talking up a storm and singing, too. You have about 7 words now, your latest being "ma" for "milk" and "nigh-nigh" for "night-night." I've been trying to practice 'b' with you lately because when you try to say "Babo" you say "Dado" and when you try to say "ball," you say "dall." It's actually really cute. What's not so cute, though, are these new mini-tantrums you've been throwing lately. You are getting really frustrated and I am too because I can't figure out what it is you want half the time! I guess the best answer would be that you want to do it yourself. I guess I need to just hand over that spoon to you and not worry about the gigantic clump of oatmeal in your hair or the number of cookies you intentionally feed to Lola rather than eat yourself. I suspect that the next few months (or 17 years?) will be quite interesting.

Before I close, I want to tell you about a time in the hospital only a few days after you were born. It was just you and me and you were laying on my chest as we sat in front of a big, bright, sunny window in our room. As I looked at you and thought about all that had happened, it only took a few moments before I became overwhelmed by the most intense feelings of gratitude and love I have ever experienced and started crying. As I'm not usually (ever?) the most outwardly emotional person, I attributed the tears to out-of-whack hormones, but I have to say, I don't think it was. I think it was my introduction to a new kind of love, one I'd never known before, that only comes when you have a child. A love that I've felt every single day since, still with the same intensity. I love being your mommy and Daddy and I couldn't find more happiness in watching you unwrap the world around you, regardless of how many times you throw the stack of magazines, one by one, off the coffee table.

Happy Birthday with love forever,


Anonymous said...

Happy 1st Birthday Emmylou.
Pleased I was able to meet you last week for the first time.
Becka you have done a tremendous job keeping up Emmylou's blog. Loved the last post.
Ann Codlin

Alison & Craig said...

Happy Birthday!!! I loved reading this blog entry...very loving, funny, and touching. I cannot wait to experience all the things Emmylou has brought to your lives myself. So pleased to have finally met her and Wee Austin says thanks for the new toy!

Alison x