My darling Audrey Claire. You have made your first full circle around the sun. For 365 days I have had the privilege of being your mommy. That's 365 days of nursing you, clothing you, playing with you, getting to know you. Here is what I have learned:
1. You love to smile. It's not that you just don't know any better right now and eventually will click into your other emotions. You, Audrey, just genuinely love to smile. And not just with your mouth, but you smile with your entire face, your eyes, your cheeks, even your nose seems to play along. Most people smile for other people to see, but I believe that you smile because it brings you joy. You are intoxicated with it and your smile shows it.
2. You have a real curiosity about the people and things surrounding you. Lately you use your tiny index finger to point away at this and that while making this high pitched "oh" sound. I am not always certain what it is you are seeing. It often appears to be a tree, or a bird or my iPhone. When you see a person, any person at all you wave. What strikes me the most about this is that you don't seem to care if you get any answer about what the thing is that you see or know who the person is. It doesn't matter to you, you just continue to point, wave and "oh" away. It's as if you are just content to be discovering the present moment.
3. You do not like the word "No". Granted I understand that we are just in the beginning stages of really grasping the understanding of words. Even still, when you hear it there is always a very deliberate moment of looking right at me, sometimes through me with your steel grey eyes as you reach to continue on your mission, despite what I or your daddy just said. I'm giving you a lot of credit for a one year old, but that leads to my next point...
4. You are so very smart. I know I am your mother and all moms believe their kids are the next child prodigy. I don't know if that's true, but I do know you have a wonderful brain. I watch how it works. In fact we saw it the day you born when they hooked you up to the EEG. I also know how smart your daddy is and I truly believe that is one ways you are very much like him. I see it and I think it every single day. You are so smart.
5. You are silly and you understand humor. You love to laugh. Your dad and I have both noticed how we do something once, you laugh. A second time, you laugh harder. A third time harder still. A fourth time and you are ready to move on. You get the comedy rule of 3...even some comedians don't get that!
6. You love animals. This might be because in every new city that we explore, we always end up at a zoo at some point. You have seen them all! Lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, komodo dragons... Though only one has your heart. and that's Oscar. However upset you may get from time to time, the moment he enters the room you very quickly replace tears with that smile and a giggle that seems to only belong to Oscie.
7. You are an amazing sleeper. Even at your worst sleeping moments, you sleep well, wherever, whenever, you are content to go to sleep, stay asleep and wake up from sleep. Consequently I fear my baby sleeping karma may be completely run out when it comes to any subsequent siblings of yours...
8. You, just by being, put life into perspective. When you were first born, you didn't cry. There was the chord around your neck and you were sent off to the NICU because you were in respiratory distress and struggling to breathe. Those first few hours of your life were the scariest of mine and your dad's. I still relive them from time to time in my mind, as much as I have tried to let them go. I may never be able to completely, but daddy reminded me the other night of how little those fearful moments actually matter. They happened and were awful, but they are over. We are on the other side them and you, wonderful you, are thriving. In my own little version of your birth story I imagine that you knew exactly what you were doing. You emerged into this world already filled with so much of that joy that I see you carry around every day that your body physically couldn't cry. Your breath, rather than distressed, was simply taken away by how beautiful this world is, just like now when you see a tree, or a bird, or my iPhone. You are the greatest example in my life of how love for life with always conquer fear of death. May you always be that example. The world needs you for that now, and always. As your mom it's really easy for my fear for you, for what "could be" to take over. And then you smile. You fill yourself to the brim with your own joy and I know, you are all right, you will be all right. You are the embodiment of love my sweet girl. You are the light and joy of my life, but more amazingly you are your own source of light and joy. This is all I could ever want for you. For any human. And as you continue to circle the sun, year after year, may you continue to grow in that light and nourish yourself with that joy. May you share it with everyone you meet, and may you know the immense gratitude and love I have for getting to be your Mama. Happy Birthday my darling Audrey. I love you so.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.