This is a picture of me. It is also a picture of you. It is the very first picture of us together. Two bodies, for the very first time. Separate but still connected. Always connected. This picture was taken exactly one year ago tomorrow evening. It was taken the moment you were born. The doctor helped me birth you and the second my body released you I reached down and found you with my hands. You were lifted up and handed to me. I saw you for the very first time. Then this photo was taken.
That look on my face Bo, is true unaltered joy. An overwhelming feeling. An absolutely all consuming moment where nothing else in the world existed, but you. You may not see that look on my face very often. It is not one that comes across easily. It is not one for the every day. But that feeling… That feeling I felt the very first time I lay my hands on your gorgeous skin. The first time your eyes met mine. That feeling of absolute joy. I have it every day. I have it late at night when I see you sleeping next to me. I have it in the afternoon when you climb up on the couch next to me and rest your head on my arm. I have it when you try something new and even when you don’t succeed the first time, you try again. I have it when you laugh and when you smile and when you reach for me, your little hands around my neck and your giggles on my skin. I feel that way. That same way. Every day.
Tomorrow you are one. One. No longer an infant. You have been outside in the world now longer than you were inside of me. You are your own person in your own right and you are spectacular. I have never been more proud of anyone or anything. Ever. I feel very clever every day for having created you. But I feel even more amazed at how already you are so, You. So separate. So independent of me. So incredible. May you always, always be you – in all your glory and sweetness and stubbornness and perfect imperfection. For there is no other person in the world that you are destined to be.
One day I am sure you will look at photos and maybe even read these letters and ask me many questions. Questions about what has happened. Questions about our journey. Questions about your past and probably mine too. I will always be honest with you. I can’t promise you much in this wild world we live in. I can’t promise that things will always go our way or that things will always be easy or that things will always be simple. But I can promise you love and honesty and kindness. And so I do, I promise you, always.
It has been an amazing year Bo. A year filled with joy and pain and heartache. But you thrive. You have grown into this incredible little human with your own ideas and your own wicked sense of humour and your beautiful gentle soul. This coming year will be filled with lots of adventures. It’s going to be just you and me for a while I think. And that’s OK. You are wonderful company and there is no other person in this great wide and wonderful world that I would rather spend my everyday with, than you. And I will do everything in my power to be enough for you too. There will be moments when I’m not enough, when there should be another pair of hands to hold you and comfort you and play with you… but I hope that those moments are fleeting… for both our sakes.
You are trying very hard to speak, and although you only have a few true words (Mama and Doggy primarily)… you have a language all of your own. A language that is punctuated by shrill laughter and belly patting and eyebrow raising and little finger pointing. A language that only you understand. A language that you call out to the sky and to the road and to the fence along this little lego-land house we live in in the middle of suburbia. You call out to the world. Fearless and so incredibly alive. Not just living, but truly ALIVE. I hope this language lives on inside you forever. That you never let it go. It is not something I have taught you, it’s yours alone. And that’s a most beautiful thing.
You are the Most beautiful thing.
There are so many things I want to teach you. But all of those things, the bike riding and the story telling and the reading and writing and drawing and joke telling… they are nothing on what you have already taught me. The humility. The kindness. The patience. The peace. The knowing, that you bring to my every day life. The gifts you have given me are greater than I ever could have imagined… and you have only just begun.
Thank you my love. For being mine. For choosing me to guide you. It’s an incredible responsibility, one I have the utmost respect for. For letting me have the absolute privilege that it is to spend my every-day with you.
You are already so kind and so wicked and so stoic. These are all beautiful qualities that I hope to cultivate and grow and protect. Your gentle hands and your cheeky eyes and your strong powerful gaze. I am in awe of you. I think I might always be in awe of you, my child. The day you were born I was so absolutely head-over-heels in love with you and that love has grown every day. Every day in this year-long journey we have taken. This is just the beginning. This is the start of your story. I am so lucky to get to witness the rest of it. To watch as you write the pages of your own life, as you choose which way you want to go.
You are destined for your own greatness. Whatever it may be. Wherever you will go. You will be great. You already are.
Happy very first birthday my beautiful girl. I love you. Forever. And then a little bit more.
Your Mama, always.