My daughter is over a year old now, and the love I have for her still overwhelms me every single day.
Those who say love at first sight doesn’t exist have never had a child. I wrote my daughter a letter when she turned one, and I feel like I should post it.
My Dearest Harmony,
It’s been a year since I first laid eyes on you. It doesn’t feel that way. It feels like I’m dreaming, and I’ll wake up in the morning and you’ll be the sleepy newborn you were a year ago. I’ll carry you around on my chest and sing to you and kiss your bald head as you slumber away for most of the day. I remember the sleepless nights, the tears I cried because we struggled so hard at at nursing. How did I not see myself in you every time you tried and tried again? You were so persistent. You were determined not to let a small obstacle get in the way of anything, and because of that you helped me push forward as well.
I remember awing over your tiny little hands and feet. I remember holding them in my own hands and just counting them over and over. Those tiny hands of yours have had a tight grip around my heart since the first time I heard your heartbeat. I’ve fallen in love with you all over again so many times. Sometimes I would catch myself watching you sleep and watching the morning rays hit your innocently chubby cheeks. I would think about how a new day for me meant something completely different to you. You were still seeing much of the world for the very first time, and I had the honor of showing it to you. I look forward to showing you more and more of the world as the years pass.
I used to interact with you so much when your home was still in my womb. I remember sitting at work in the wee hours of the night and listening to whatever came across my iPod at the time. You loved music. You would kick and move around as if you were dancing in your own little way. You still love music, and even a year later I know when you recognize a song because you stand so still as if you’re trying to remember something, but just can’t put your finger on it. I’ll always remember it clearly for you, even when your infant memories begin to pass into the shadows. Your infant days are coming to an end, and even though you will not remember them in a few years, they will still be vividly branded in my own mind and heart.
Now the little girl that stands before me is a wandering little toddler. Your baby chunk is starting to slim down, you’re walking more and more as each day passes. You’re slowly starting to trust people. You used to cry when someone tried to talk to you, but now you’re starting to see that they’re just trying to make you smile. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love you. I know that every time I see the little dimples in your cheeks my heart stops, so I can only imagine what effect it has on total strangers.
You have a smile that could make the darkest human being feel a little love. That smile has brought me out of some of my own darkest moments. That smile is going to change the world one day.
Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if you weren’t here, and I can’t. I can’t imagine a life without you. My life would mean nothing without you. You are my life, and my life began at the very moment I saw you.
You’ve changed me as a whole, and for that I can never show my gratitude. The only thing I can do is dedicate my life to you.
I know I may not always be the best mother. I know that sometimes I may seem distant, and that’s an ongoing battle that I am continuously working on. Please know that I love you. Please know that I love you more than my own life. I value you over myself, tiny hands and all. You’re my best friend, and sometimes I can’t understand how someone as perfect as you can love someone as flawed as myself. Your love and sweet cuddles flatter me in the best way possible. I love every single bit of you unconditionally, from your little giggle to your tiny hands.
This has been the best year of my entire life, and I know that it will only get better from here.