Today was your first birthday.
I've been both looking forward and dreading this day for a long time, because its such a huge milestone in your life with us, and because it means that you have been with us for a year already. I have a very hard time trying to get my head around the fact that you have been such an integral part of our lives for so long and it seeming like its been only a few moments.
You had more firsts this month: your first swim in your turtle pool, although swimming is a strong word for the splashfest you threw on my lap. That was a lot of fun!
You also got to go to your very first movie. We went to a drive-in to see Superman Returns, and while you slept through pretty much all of it, you managed to sleep well even with the warm summer air coming through the windows and the sounds of the movie pouring out of the radio.
This month, you went to the zoo for the first time, and even though it was a long day for you, you loved it. You particularly liked the parrots and macaws, because when you talked to them, they talked back.
You spent your birthday mostly with your Mom and I, though we had your Aunt Lisa and your Grandma and her husband over for a barbecue for lunch. We took you to get professional pictures taken of you in your birthday dress this morning and just like you do through most things, you laughed and smiled your way through the whole sitting.
You also got to go to another barbecue later this evening, one which I had to work through, but I heard from your Mommy that you got sang to by everyone there, and that event wasn't intended to be about you at all. My only regret about today is that I had to work and couldn't help put you to bed tonight. But that is tempered with the knowledge that your Mommy, who is such a good Mom, is there to do it for both of us.
We had your birthday party on Saturday, and we invited those people that you have come to know well over the first year of your life. We figured it would be hard enough having a few dozen people around, so we made sure they were people you knew well and were comfortable around. It must have worked, because you had a great time. You shared your day with friends, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, even your cousin-to-be showed up, though he/she was in your Aunt's tummy!
You got lots of presents from everyone, further proving how much everyone loves to spoil you. And you got to have your first ever taste of cake! Up until Saturday, your palette was limited to pureed veggies, fruit, and meats, and the occasional cookie. But you dove into that cake like you were born to it, and in so doing, you let everyone there know that you are your Mother's daughter.
I know that I have written along these lines before, but when your Mother gave birth to you a year ago, you changed our lives irrevocably and for so much the better than I would ever have believed possible. Every day with you is a joy, and I hope you know that I will always love and support you for as long as I live.
This last year of our lives has been so exciting and seen so many changes in you, I really don't know what to expect for the next 12 months.
I have watched you grow from the tiny, fragile being you began as into the animated, personable, beautiful child you are today. I have seen you crawl and laugh and point and cry and sleep and hug and wave and say Dad, and each of these things has humbled me and made my heart melt.
I can't wait to see what the next year with you will be like.