Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby.

May 6, 2009

Dear Penny,

Happy Birthday! A year ago today, the doctor put you on my chest, you took your first breath of air and your purplish-blue skin flushed pink. Then you opened your mouth and YELLED. Giving birth to you was the most amazing experience I have ever had, and on that day, we became a family. I have been looking at pictures from a year ago and it’s crazy to see how little you were. You’ve come a long way as a baby, and I have to say, I’ve come a long way as your mother. I’ve also been planning a little party in your honor, just you wait. (Ooh, I can’t wait!)

Miss Independent, helping herself to everything in her room...

Very exciting things have been happening. You have decided that you like to go places and you’ve been trying to walk. No crawling for you! You cruise along furniture and you like to take our hands and walk with support.
I usually let you steer so you can show me where you want to explore. The other day you walked along the wall, but you got stuck and panicked when the wall ran out. You have been pointing to things, and you vocalize to let me know when you want something. You also let me know when something is wrong. You scream like a banshee when you get upset, even if it is over the tiniest thing. You’re so dramatic! You are also very ticklish, especially under your chin and under your arms. We laugh every day. There is nothing more wonderful than your laugh.

You also have a new uncle, and I have a new brother! Your Aunt Meg married Paddy a couple of weeks ago in a private ceremony. They will travel to Barcelona this month to honeymoon, which is very romantic. I hope that someday you will find someone you love, someone who loves you, someone who will make you happy. Someone who will travel to Barcelona with you.

Something very sad has happened too. Two days ago, your Great Grandma Ethel passed away. She had an amazing life of 96 years, and we miss her already. It will be strange not to visit her anymore. I’m so glad she got to meet you. She loved you very much. Her exit from this world has made me think about mortality, more so than I usually do. It was hard to watch her leave us. But when I woke up this morning, cars were still driving down the street. Flowers were blooming. You were taking wobbly steps toward me. Life stops. Life continues.

I think it will only be a matter of days before you figure out that you can walk on your own. You are very much like I am. I’m sorry to say you might have inherited my overly cautious personality. You like to be in control and you don’t like to fall. Someday I will tell you how hard it was for me to learn how to ski.

Anyway, I can see you over-thinking it. Sometimes you have to let go and trust yourself. It will be ok. And don’t hate me if I sign you up for tumbling/swimming/skiing lessons, so you won’t be (too) hindered by your strong sense of self-preservation. On the other hand, it is even harder for me to let go, to release you from my protection and watch you stagger away from me on your little baby legs, even though I want you to be independent. I hope I’m not holding you back. I just don’t want you to get hurt.

You are getting so big. Every day, you seem a little different, a little more mature. I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring, but I don't want it to go too quickly. You will always be my baby.



Jen said...

Happy birthday, pretty Penny! I hope to meet you someday soon! Love, Cousin Jen

The OTHER Cousin Jen said...

Wow...Penny has two cousins named Jen who she's never met? What are the odds...

But I get to finally meet Penny in a couple of weeks!

Lo said...

Oh, a very happy birthday, pretty girl! You are a doll!

sharnee said...

Awww, that's gorgeous - Happy Birthday Penny! (sorry, a little late!). I love the pic of her trashing her room - you realise it's probably going to look like that in 15 years time too! xx

Alisha said...

And happy postpartum 1 year, Mom. You look great in the picture with the balloon, Katie. Its a good picture of you. :)