In a few short weeks, my baby will be turning one. In my first year of mommyhood I have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve felt moments of pure joy and moments of isolation. I’ve felt moments of defeat and glorious moments of victory. But as the reality of ending our first year together hits, what stands out the most is the precious time I got to spend with my little girl and all the moments that I’ll never forget. So, this is for you, sweet girl.
To my daughter, as you turn one –
In your first year, we got to spend a lot of time together – time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Our time together was precious and invaluable, and left me with so many life-changing memories. And, I know that each year as you get older, you’ll become more and more independent, and time with you will be harder to come by. So, even though I know you won’t remember the days, the moments, and the hours we spent together these past 12 months, there are still many things I hope you’ll never forget.
I know you won’t remember all the late nights we spent rocking in the big white chair in your nursery with your perfect little angelic face staring up at me – but I hope you’ll never forget that my arms are always open – to pick you up when you fall, to celebrate your victories, to comfort you when life picks a fight, and to wrap you up and rock you whenever you need me.
I know you won’t remember the first time you giggled when you were 3 months old. Daddy and I were so happy that we stood there crying out of pure joy at the sound of your sweet little laughter – but I hope you’ll never forget to continue sharing your joy and laughter with the world and to be an encourager rather than a discourager. There are plenty of discouragers in this world. I hope you will be one to encourage others, to see the glass half full, and to choose joy.
I know you won’t remember when you bravely pulled yourself up and stood on those chunky wobbly legs for the first time in your crib when you were just 7 months old – but I hope you’ll never forget that you are brave, and you can do all things through Christ who will give you strength. Through him, you can always find the courage.
I know you won’t remember the first time I gave you a stick of cucumber and some avocado and the enthusiasm with which you proceeded to scarf it all down. You were so excited to eat food like mama’s and were covered in gummed-up mush – but I hope you’ll never forget to eat your vegetables, and to always take care of yourself. Because God gave you this body. Take care of it, protect it, and most of all, love it.
I know you won’t remember diving into my arms every time you heard music turn on so that we could dance through the living room together in our jammies – But I hope you’ll never forget to enjoy the simple moments – those ordinary moments with family and friends, and doing life with the people you love.
I know you won’t remember the time I almost let you fall down the stairs and then cried for an hour out of both guilt for letting you out of my sight for more than a second and relief that you were ok – but I hope you’ll never forget that our God is always with you, watching over you, and protecting you, even when I can’t.
I know you won’t remember how daddy and I would strut around the kitchen with you, making up goofy songs, while you squealed and clapped along- but I hope you’ll never forget to always be a goofball. Don’t take life too seriously. If somebody calls you weird, take it as compliment. Life is too short not to make a fool out of yourself every once in a while. Heck, make it once an hour.
I know you won’t remember the pretty dress I made you for your first birthday party – but I hope you’ll never forget your true beauty – that God made you in his image, that you were fearfully and wonderfully made, and that even though you won’t always believe me when I tell you you’re the most beautiful girl in the world, it’s still true.
I know you won’t remember contently singing “Wee-ah weeee. Wee-ahh weee” in the back seat of the car without a care in the world whenever we were out running errands – but I hope you’ll never forget to be thankful. It can be so easy to get caught up in wanting more and comparing your life with others. So, don’t forget just how much you already have to be thankful for, to sing a little tune, and to find contentment right where you’re at.
I know you won’t remember all the goofy and embarrassing outfits I put you in (or maybe you will, because I documented them with 7,345,277 photos), but I sure hope you’ll never forget to forgive freely. Because, Jesus forgives us for our sins, even when we don’t deserve it. So, even if you’re angry or hurt, and whether they deserve it or not, always choose to forgive others. Only then will your heart feel at peace.
And lastly, sweet girl, I know you won’t remember the best day of my life, the day you were born and I got to hold you in my arms for the first time, but I pray that you’ll never forget that you amaze me every single day, that every day with you is the best day of my life, and that you, sweet girl, are my treasure.