Monday, December 17, 2007

Lily's 1st Birthday Party

Dear Lily,
This weekend, we celebrated your first birthday.

The party went by in a blur. Similar to our wedding day, I wish I could rewind the weekend and take more time to just sit down with you and enjoy it. To explain to you why all these people are here just for you. To hold you on my lap and give you a big squeeze, whether or not you'll sit still long enough to take it. I'm your Mama and it's my right to try.

The timing of your naps worked out perfectly. You fell asleep at 10:30 a.m. for a party that started at 11:30. By noon, your Oma and I snuck upstairs to wake you up — it was your party, after all, and we didn't want you to miss it! We put on your pink corduroy dress from your Grandma over a long-sleeved white onesie, and paired it with your pink tights and white socks and pink/brown Marie Janes. You looked like the sweetest little girl ever.

You were such a happy girl at your party. You smiled and played and charmed the socks off all the guests. You showed them your new tricks: clapping and waving and sticking your tongue in & out after I did it first. Every once in a while, you would stand up and do the twist, eyes and mouth and hands wide open in excitement.

Your favorite "toy" at the party was all the helium balloons. You get so excited whenever you see them when we're out, I figured for just one day we could take a risk and get you your own balloons to play with. All the fun you had pointing at them then shaking and chasing them around!

You cried twice during your party, both times because you got hurt. The first time, another little boy pushed you over and you banged your head on the carpet. You cried for a little while in my arms until we gave you a balloon — then all was forgotten. The second time, someone was trying to readjust your party hat that said "I'm 1!" and they accidentally snapped the elastic against your face. You had a big red line across your cheek and chin the rest of the party, and burst into tears every time we tried to put that hat back on you. You sure have a good memory.

You weren't too interested in opening your presents. I tried to get you to help me rip the paper off, but you're a gentle girl and would rather play with the shiny strings or go off and play with your toys. We couldn't get you to stay with the presents for too long before you'd wander off again, so your Daddy and I ended up opening most of them for you instead. Little David and Laura sat right next to me the whole time as we opened presents, and your cousin Kirsten was also interested to see what was being unwrapped. Boy, did you get lots of good loot!

You ate your first cupcake ever at the party. You, our little healthy, organic baby, had never had anything like that before. Your Aunt Lori and your Grandma made them at our house the night before (with some help from your Mama and your Aunt Heidi). You were still pretty shaken up about the elastic incident, but one taste of frosting and your eyes widened and you said, "Mmmm!" and that was the end of the crying! We put you in your highchair and you had fun squeezing the cupcake through your fingers, eating off the icing, and stuffing the cake into your mouth. You were a complete mess by the time you were done, which says you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

I still can't believe what a big girl you are, how happy you are, and how easily you smile. You love to be smiled at (and smile back), to point at things and be told their names, to talk to your toys, to be teased, to be chased, to have attention in general. You are sensitive and thoughtful and silly and playful all at once. You are so pleasant to be around and so curious about everything going on around you. We have to place you in the corner with your back to the wall when we go out to eat so you're not twisting around in your seat looking at everything going on behind you the whole time. You never miss a thing!

This curiosity is what complicates nap time. We can't make ANY noise, or you spring to your feet and cry, reminded that you're in your crib in your room, and we're outside having so much fun without you. Your Daddy and I have gotten quite good at staying very quiet while you're sleeping, but when guests are over, all bets are off. Sometimes they wake you up at the slightest noise; other times, you can sleep through a party going on — like your own party! — we just never know what kind of nap it will be.

Lately, I've been ovewhelmed with how much I love you. I just look at your sweet face and your sweet little smile, and my heart does flip flops. I never knew being a mom would feel like this. It makes me excited and yet scared out of my wits all at the same time. What if something happens to you? What if God's timetable for us to be your caretakers is over before we're ready? I don't know what either of us would do if that happened. You've filled a spot in our lives in a way I never thought possible — can you see why we were so eager to have another little one?

I guess all we can do is be completely thankful for every minute we spend together — even those bleary ones at 2 a.m. — and for the wonderful year we've spent getting to know you and watching you become less little baby and more silly little person. I can't believe how quickly a year went by! I look forward to watching you grow up and grow into a woman of God. Thanks for such a wonderful first year, my little munchkin. You couldn't possibly have two parents who love you more.

Much love, Mama


Anonymous said...

wow...where did that year go?

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful letter to your little girl!