I can't believe it. Here it is, March 2nd, 2015. A year ago today I was freaking out because I was simultaneously positive that both I'd never have this baby and that the due date was coming up so much faster than we had ever expected. And now, a year later, we're approaching your first birthday. I never thought I'd get to celebrate my own child. What an amazing gift.
So here we are, my long-awaited Mia. On the cusp of another year together. Learning what it means to be a family, how to read each other, and who each of us will be. You've overcome a lot - especially in the past few months, and I continue to be in awe of the incredible things you do each and every day. In the past year, I've learned a lot of about you. I love getting to see who you are becoming. You're incredibly determined. Once you've decided that you're going to do something, you do it. Oftentimes to chase a dog or cat, but, hey, whatever works. You're smart. Super smart. You definitely get that from your dad. You're into everything. You love seeing how things work. You flip every single toy over and look at the back to see what's going on. You love your pets like crazy. You do this insane high-pitched shriek when you see Merlin. It cracks us up. You also love music. I mean, I know all children respond to music, but yours is much deeper. You'll stop whatever it is you're doing and just listen while a song plays. Except for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. Then you just dance.
I've learned a lot about me, too. I've learned that even though I never in a million years thought I had that "mother's intuition" built into me - I do. It's even helped save your life, and for that I'm incredibly thankful. I've learned that even when I'm in the worst pain imaginable, I find something deep inside of me that keeps going for you. I've learned that while my patience gets thin with others, you always get more from me (even when you're screaming for no reason.) I've learned that I love your father more than I ever thought I could because I see how much he loves you. I've learned that there's little in this world that I would rather do than play on the floor with you and your dad as we play YouTube videos on tv. I've learned that Disney Junior is actually pretty cool.
I've also learned what it means to be scared. Scared of you rolling over because it meant you being in a crib in your room - away from us for the first time at night. Scared of you learning to crawl because it meant a new form of independence that I knew nothing about. Scared for each little step because it meant you might fall. Would I be able to catch you every time? And to be scared as you're hooked up to IVs and constant medication. Seeing you too sick to even lift your head. Too scared to be away from your father or I because you didn't know what was happening. And scared to death that this could all happen again.
But the most important thing I've learned is how much pride and love I have for you, my sweet baby. You're so smart and funny. Your belly laughs when I tickle you are something I hold so deep in my heart it feels like they've left a physical mark there. You're so much like your father, but so much like me too. It's amazing to think you're the same little person who was kicking the stuffing out of me just one year ago today.
I know there are great big things ahead of you. For all of the obstacles you've overcome in such a short time, I know there's this massive plan for you that involves greatness. It can't be measured by what career you'll choose, or what you'll look like. I know it's going to be measured in the things you do for people - the kindness that you'll extend others. The good you'll do in the world. That, my little monkey, is where I know you'll excel.
I can never promise you that I'll be the perfect mother. I'm going to make a lot of mistakes, and it's alright if you point them out to me along the way. I'm still learning. But one thing I can promise you from the bottom of my heart is that I will try every single second to the mother you deserve. A mother who will love you more than you'll ever know. One who leads by example. One that will be there to catch every tear, to hold you close, but let you spread your wings. A mother who will encourage you to dream big and keep your head in the clouds, but one who will also keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
My sweet Mia. My big girl. Happy one year with us. I know I'll never do anything in this lifetime as important as being your mom. And that's the absolute greatest gift you've given me. I'll never be able to say thank you enough.
With all of my heart,