My precious Rilyn Ann,
I’ve been sitting here staring at this computer screen for about 15 minutes now. I’ve got a lump in my throat and my eyes are teary.
You are 1 year old and it’s so very bittersweet for me.
This past year has been hard. There were weeks I was sure our life would never change from the screaming baby, needy toddler, and sleep-deprived, emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted parenthood that consumed it. Our transition to a family of four was difficult. Getting through your colic was harder. Then we found out about the food issues and I became completely absorbed in any and all information regarding them.
In a way your birthday snuck up on me. Of course I’ve always been aware of the date circled and decorated on the calendar, but when I really stopped to think about your birthday and reflect on the past year, I cried. Yes, for the usual reasons that you’re not a baby anymore, and that this year went by way too fast. I cried for missing your newborn babyness, your little baby chicken legs, your fuzzy, fluffy newborn hair, and those cute new baby grunts and squeaks. But mostly I cried because I feel like I missed out on a lot of it.
Yes, I was there. Every second of every day. But, I spent so much of your first few months wishing time to hurry up, to get us out of the rough time so we could be in the easier times. Then, I was so wrapped up in all of the food issues that any free second I had was filled with allergen research and information, cookbook and recipe hunting. Even though I was there with you physically, I feel like I dropped the ball on being with you mentally. I feel like I missed out on taking in so many moments with you, and living in those moments for myself, on really enjoying those baby stages. I feel like I missed out on your first year and the guilt I feel over this is unreal. Those reasons are why this birthday has been so hard for me to handle.
I want you to know that as hard as those months were, as much as we’ve gone through, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! YOU WERE/ARE WORTH IT! I knew it the second you were born. I knew it at 3:45 am. I even knew it during the 4.5 hours of you screaming non-stop. And it’s never been truer than now. I love you so much, sweet girl, and I promise to you and myself, to take in all of the moments from here on out. No matter how rough our current season of life may be. Because, c’mon! I can’t be this emotional for every one of your birthdays! That would make me the crazy momma, and we can’t have that.
I love you so!