As I sit and write this letter, you are playing in the living room. You’re wearing your new jammies with a cherry pie print for fall (in 18M size, if you can believe it!). A Shane & Shane worship song is playing on the speaker and you’re “chatting,” as you often do 🙂
Officially, you are 11 months, 2.5 weeks today — you will soon be one. One! I know. I can’t believe it either. Every time I think too much about it, I start to tear up.
Holly, I didn’t understand a thing about motherhood until your birthday, when you were laid on my chest in the delivery room, both of us sobbing and taking each other in. I had no idea! Now, when I look back, I wasn’t just expecting a baby. I was expecting you! My giggly, gorgeous, sometimes-silly-sometimes-shy, darling daughter.
Since that moment on October 3rd, 2020, you have grown and grown. Just yesterday, you sat in your high chair devouring a scrambled egg — big girl food! You went from rolling to crawling to cruising in no time at all. You say “mama” on repeat, you crane your neck toward the front door when it opens, you remember things… like where I hide the TV clicker, one of your favorite “toys.”
But, you’re still my baby. You’re still nursing — something I thought I wasn’t for me, but after 12 months of breastfeeding, I don’t want this time with you to end. I still go in your nursery nearly every night before I go to bed. You still smile for your daddy every morning when he goes in to wake you up. We are still photographing you constantly… and looking back at our pictures of you every chance we get.
I loved this year with you, Holly. It was a year of joyful memories (watching you pass milestones, taking you out on adventures, celebrating holidays with your grandparents) and a year of tearful moments (praying for you in the waiting room at Lurie Children’s on the date of your surgery, entrusting your nanny — your sweet, adoring nanny — with you for the first time, worrying about anything and everything).
Through it all, you have reminded me to put all of my trust in the Lord. He knitted you together, He placed you in our care, and He is guiding us as we navigate parenting. I can’t wait for you to get to know Him, Holly. One day, when you’re older, your dad and I will tell you about what God has done in my life, in his life, in our marriage. We will share the hope of Christ Jesus with you. And we will pray for you, always, to come to your Father.
Happy (almost) birthday, Holly. Thank you for the best year of my life. I love you to Heaven and back.