Dear Caitlin, You’re One!

To my sweet girl,

 A year ago today your father and I received the most precious gift, you. We had been waiting what felt like forever. You were past your due date and we were so ready to meet you. Impatient to say the least!

 Many, many hours later once I had you in my arms, time stopped. You were real. The baby I had felt inside me was now on my chest, snuggling and crying. I didn’t have to follow any instructions and put you together, my womb knew exactly what it was doing while it gave you a safe place to grow. You were here and ready to take on the world. I have never felt so amazed by any one thing before as I did you. Once we left the delivery room and went to our own room, I remember being alone with you. I stared as you slept, swaddled in a cozy blanket, and tears streamed down my face. A nurse came in trying to figure out what was wrong and all I could say was “I’m just SO happy!” It’s amazing that effect you have on us. The adoration in your daddy’s eyes when he looks at you is undeniable. He loves you more than words could ever begin to express.

A year doesn’t seem like that long, really, unless we’re talking in baby time. The list of  things you have learned, sweet girl, is lengthy. It feels like decades have passed when I think about how you’ve learned to nurse, coo and babble, crawl, stand, and walk. Let’s not forget your perfect dancing moves, giving high fives, and opening and closing doors. And of course your hugs and silly wet kisses are the best. I marvel at how what was once our little baby blob is now a smart and sassy girl walking around the house wanting me to play with her.

 You’ve made a profound difference in our lives, Caitlin. In your short time on earth so far you have pulled family together. You have made your father and I stronger in our bond as husband and wife as we’ve learned how to be parents (or at least how to survive on the smallest amount of sleep possible and not strangle one another). YOU are the reason I wake up and want to be a better mom and a better person each and every day. You have made this world a happier place with your bright blue eyes and smile. Never stop smiling, princess. The world needs to see your blue eyes sparkle and your toothy smile as often as you can! Know how loved you are and let that empower you to do the great things I know you are destined to do in your lifetime.

Looking back I think about the sleepless nights, the crying and the tears, the seeking advice just to learn it didn’t work and then the tears that ensued after that, and I truly wonder how I’m not full of wrinkles and grey hair. Then I hear you laugh. I smell your hair. I see you smile as you walk over to me and I get a kiss from you. I know right away that all of the struggles, the battles, the sleepless nights and the feelings of failure are obsolete. I would go through all of those things again for you, in a heartbeat. You were worth it all. You are worth it all. I love you so very, very much. You are my sunshine and you make me happy even when the skies are the grayest of gray. Never forget that.


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