Dear Elle: Happy Birthday

Dear Elle,

You turned one yesterday.

Unbelievable and yet completely embraceable. It feels like its been a whirlwind of a year, and yet I can’t believe how much changed for us in such a short amount of time.

For the last six weeks or so we’ve been working on your trick, when we would say “How old are you going to be on your birthday?” you would hold up one finger, we would all clap (which you started doing, too) and laugh. It was excellent, and you came through on your birthday holding up one finger when we sang Happy Birthday to you. So proud of you and your little birthday trick!

You are suddenly enthralled with ‘tap dancing’. Your Grandma Karen has this mat in her walk-in shower that is wooden and on the tile floor, makes the coolest noise. You ‘tap’ on the mat, and love it. I just know you’re going to love tap shoes, too. Now, you just stomp around anywhere, ‘dancing’. It’s like you’re clogging/polka-ing and I love it!

You have taken lately to throwing fits – you are incredibly stubborn and don’t like NOT getting your way AT ALL. Sometimes I just laugh at you, because I don’t know what else to do, and it’s frankly pretty funny how you behave. It worries me that you’re going to be like that forever…but I know it’s just part of your testing boundaries, etc.

You have never met a stranger, I don’t think. Honestly, you go to everyone and anyone, you’re incredibly friendly. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that about you. You have so many people that love you so much, that I just am so glad that you love them right back. It’s awesome.

We did a little photo session this past week, the day before your birthday party.

Here you are, girlie:

Oh, did I mention your excellent ponies? You get pigtails or a pony tail most days now that your hair is so long. I’m still perfecting my hairdressing skills – and your Dad’s are non-existent – but we’re getting there. You love hair brushes and combs. You insist on bringing them out from the drawers in the bathroom.

You also love the toilet brush and the toilet. I caught you with the toilet brush heading for your mouth (where most things end up) the other day and got grossed out. I catch you with your hand in the pot quite often and we wash your hands. You are absolutely enthralled with water, so it doesn’t surprise me how much you love the toilet. Thus far, you leave the toilet PAPER alone, though, which I’m grateful for.
You have also become quite the climber. Anything and everything, you want to scale it as though it’s your own little Everest. It’s scary for sure, but it’s also something that makes me happy. It’s terrifying that you have no fear, but it’s also something I love about you.

You have five teeth – your  two front top teeth and two front bottom teeth, plus the tooth to the right of your top two teeth. You went from none to five in the matter of a few days, which didn’t bode well for sleeping habits.

You continue to be a light sleeper, and you haven’t slept through the night more than once in the last three months. Which is ANNOYING. Sleeping all night would be a wonderful trait. You end up in bed with your Dad and I every night – it’s a bad habit, but neither of us are about to dedicate an hour to get you back to sleep in the middle of the morning, so it’s into our bed you go. I keep setting mental deadlines of when we’re kicking you out, and they keep passing me by. Lucky you.

I’m so incredibly in awe of you – and what you will be. I feel like you and I, your Dad, we were meant for each other, to make each other better. You’re such a cool little girl and I’m just so truly fulfilled with being your Mom, with making our small community and the wider community better for you and the friends that you have made and will make.

What scares me is that life will be harder for you than it has been for me, which no parent wishes. I want the path to be even easier (though mine was quite smooth) and I want you to find more success (however you’ll end up defining that) than I feel I have.

You amaze me and fulfill me, truly.

There is no other way to describe it.

The past year has been the best of my life…which is saying something. I’ve had it good for most of the days, months, years that I’ve lived – but it’s phenomenal to be your Mom.

You amaze me.

I am overwhelmed by you.

Love,

 

Mom

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