My Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth,
You are a whole year old. I'm not sure what to make of this. Part of me thinks that you should probably be at least seven by now. Are you sure you still can't use a vacuum? I look at pictures of you from a year ago in loose-fitting onesies that you have long outgrown. Was that you? How were you ever that small? Part of me longs for the days when you would spend so much time sweetly sleeping on my chest. Part of me is ready to keep powering on until the day comes when you can use a vacuum.
I feel like I'm supposed to say something about how this past year has been the best year of my life. Yet any year in which I think, "I only got four hours of sleep last night but at least it was consecutive. I probably won't need a nap today." clearly can't be the best year of my life. At least I hope not.
When you were about three months old a mom with grown children asked me, with so much joy in her voice and a huge smile on her face, "Isn't being a mom the best thing ever?!?" I don't remember what I said, but I remember exactly what I thought, "I think a glass of wine and some alone time with Hulu sounds like the best thing ever."
My dearest munchkin, this has been the hardest year of my life: learning to care for you, trying to keep up with all the things, trying to take care of myself, pushing myself through crazy exhaustion, trying to stay positive when it feels like everything I attempt is met with resistance and frustration, trying to remember that you are more important than my to-do list.
(Sometimes I think Type A people shouldn't have children. But then how could we win at parenting?)
Yet I'm getting all misty, baby girl, because I want you to know that even with the sleeplessness and the stress and the puke and the poop and hair-pulling, every second has been worth it. Just one of your smiles. Just one of your hugs. So worth it. I have spent decades dreaming of you, my darling girl, and you are perfect. Better than I ever could have dreamed.
This past year is the year my heart exploded. I love you so much. In a couple years we'll watch the How the Grinch Stole Christmas and there's this scene where the Grinch's heart grows three sizes. I can be sad/frustrated/mad/annoyed/tired/allthethings, then you look at me with your gorgeous blue eyes and smile, and my heart grows three sizes. And I squeeze you. And you squirm. Then I set you back down so you can go back to pulling Zoey's tail and eating books.
I am honored to be your mom. Seriously. And I can't wait to see what the next year brings. I anticipate more dance parties and crayons. You're so close to being ready for crayons!