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Happy 1st Birthday Holland

My Holland, 
It is a special day. Today, you are ONE. Where has time gone?
I feel as if the last year has flown by but also, as if you have always been a part of our family.

A year ago, you were new and I was overwhelmed.
Pregnancy was hard for me — 42 weeks hard.
Labor was hard for me — 47 hours hard.
But becoming a mother was terrifying.

I felt so inadequate. You were a precious gift and I knew I was bound to screw up.
So we just took it one day at a time.
Our mornings consisted of hot tea, hour long breastfeeding sessions, and The Today Show.
Our afternoons consisted of long car rides and naps at the Target Starbucks.
Our evenings consisted of crying… lots of crying. By everyone.

Looking back, that all seems like a lifetime ago. Our days are so different now.

Our mornings consist of a short breastfeeding session and chasing you around the house —  insisting that you put on clothes.
My afternoons are spent thinking of you while you play with your friends at school.
Our evenings consist of laughs, cuddles, and food… lots of food. Your evening hunger is never satisfied.

Once, when you were small and I was overwhelmed, I looked into your eyes and hoped that someday, I would love you fiercely.

Now, I love you something beyond fierce. I love you deeply. I love you madly. I love each inch of your skin and every fiber of your soul. When you smile, my entire world is made right. When you laugh, everything that I am melts. When you cry, my heart breaks and I long to soothe and comfort you.

Before you, I admit that I would always scoff a bit when I was told that a parent/child love was inexplicable. Now, I understand just how little I understood then. This feeling — the way my entire being has changed over the past year — simply cannot be explained.

You are such a big girl now. You run around the house, insisting on doing things yourself and demanding everyone’s attention. You are beginning to talk and I can already tell you are perfecting your sass. You adore your Daddy and love to play (aka bother) all the dogs and cats. Books are your favorite thing, so long as YOU get to turn the pages, and Baby Einstein makes you sleepy. Bath time is playtime and you hardly ever meet a stranger.

You hold so much potential. So much promise.
So here is my promise to you:

I will love you. I will love you with each molecule of my body and soul.
I will work to make this world a better place for you — and for your generation.
I will try harder when I’m tired, when I’m spent, when I’m overwhelmed.
I will make your life a happy one — full of pajama dance parties, bedtime stories, and marathon cuddle sessions.
I will ensure that you feel loved and supported — no matter what.
I will try hard to be the type of Mom you deserve. You my love — you deserve the best.

So Happy Birthday my baby.  Yes. Baby. You’ll always be my baby.
Today may be your birthday, but you will forever be my most precious gift.

I Love You,

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