Paint the world in joy

Dear Audrey,

Today you are one. You woke today as you usually do, babbling and laughing in your crib. We carried you into our bed and sang “Happy birthday” to you. You seemed to think that was the best thing ever. Later, presents, macaroni and cheese, the first taste of cake, and the resultant mid-day bath made this a pretty great day for you, I think.

You are boundless joy and determination at this age. You know several words, and are determined to learn more each day. I watch you consistently working through phonemes, and wonder when you really started to work out those first few words: “Mama”, “Dada”, “Cat”, “Hi”… It seems you may have started practicing those on day one. You practice all those things you really want to try; you often whisper a words for days before you say it, and you have spent the last month and a half almost walking. I’m fairly certain that you can walk at any moment, as soon as you realize you can. I also know that you will not be the child to quietly let go of our hands and take a few tentative steps — you will only be happy if you can suddenly stand up and cross the room on your own. So, I continue to offer my hand and wait until you are ready. And you grin and giggle as you stumble alongside of me. My big girl.

You love people; you constantly wave at strangers and you have an uncanny knack for finding those who will not only wave back, but will play with you for several minutes. You also love dogs of all sorts, and I occasionally worry that you will crawl up to one and begin chewing on it and petting it before we can explain to you that it may be less receptive than your dog, whom you call “Day-dee”.

We spend our days exploring the house, playing with your toys, and playing the piano. You are absolutely in love with music, and often sit on our laps while we play the piano so you can play a “duet”. You also sing to us, your silly songs of made up baby sounds, which occasionally echo the lullabies I sing to you and make me do a double take. Not much gets past you these days.

In all, the world is a wonderful place for you, and I am so happy for that. You seem to have fun no matter where you are or what is happening; you always find a way to play and learn, and your laughter and squeals brighten every room you visit. This last year has certainly had its ups and downs for all three of us, but I am so happy that you are here to show me how wonderful and joyful the world really is. You are my light.

Happy birthday, Spoonie. I love you all the way to the moon and back.

xo,
mama.

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