I love birthdays. I love the celebrations, the remembering, the way everyone treats the birthday kid like they are the queen or king for a day. Today, the littlest one of our crew turned one. One. As in- an entire year has gone by since she was born. So much has happened, time has passed, life has progressed- and still it seems like we were just walking through the hospital doors. But, now suddenly we're walking around the house with little chubby fists wrapped around our fingers, while little feet below learn to tentatively put one in front of the other.
Last winter, much time was spent cuddling our little baby close. Cozying up in the rocking chair, holding tight to baby days that we knew would pass so quickly. And pass they did- with the weeks stacking up against each other so quickly it left me overwhelmed once again at how fast things change, how quickly time moves forward. And then sometimes- while in the midst of the long nights, the crying jags, and her lack of naps- I would again feel overwhelmed, wondering when it all would change.
And yet, here she is- past the baby stage, but still so very much a baby. Tucking her head onto my shoulder, twisting her arm up to touch my face, looking up at me with such trust. Every age is so beautiful for it's own reasons. So many times throughout my children's lives I exclaim, I love this age! And I do. I love how she crinkles her eyes and waits for us to all laugh at meal time, I love how she gets so excited she bounces across the floor on her knees. I love how she can play for awhile- exploring all around without a care- and suddenly she starts to whimper and comes crawling over for some hugs before she's off again. I love the way she imitates words with sounds, the way she gets so excited when everyone cheers for her as she stands next to the couch with only one hand.
As I watched her today, excitedly examining the cupcake she'd been given, I thought, slow down baby! Time is going too fast! But of course, time will not really slow down. Not in the rush of every day life. And so when she comes over to me for hugs, when she cries out for me in the wee hours of barely morning, when she still looks for that bottle at some point during the night, I will linger with her in my arms. Hold on to my one year old girl, kiss her round cheeks, and feel the beauty of life slowing down for just a moment. Because all too suddenly, she will be two.
Happy first birthday, my sweet baby girl! One is such a fun age to be!