Dearest, Sweetest Emma Grace,
I may not have written as much during your first year as I did during your brother's, but rest assured, it is not because Mommy loves you any less. It is because you have filled Mommy's days with such laughter, love, and happiness, that I just don't have as much time to fill these pages. Each day, I wake up, excited and ready to face the day. Each day goes by in a blur. And each night, I go to bed and fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. You and your brother keep me busy.
But not a day goes by that I do not think about how lucky I am to be your mama. You are quite simply the easiest, happiest, most wonderful baby girl that has ever been. From the day we brought you home from the hospital, you have been a great sleeper and awesome eater. Your quick smile and belly laughs have filled this house with joy beyond compare. When I see you and your brother together, my heart swells with the love that I have for both of you.
Now, don't get me wrong, Little Miss, you may be easy to please and happy as a clam, with a laugh that makes others laugh right along with you, but you are also fiesty, full of heart, and have a huge personality.
You like to tease people. You will offer me a bite of food and then pull it away and plop it in your own mouth. You like to play peek a boo with your daddy and steal his glasses. You like to play keep-a-way with your brother. And if you don't get something as quickly as your little heart desires, well, then we are going to hear about it!
But, oh Emma. Your heart is so big. You are so sweet and smiley. Everyone always comments on your big, toothy grin and how happy and content you always are. You love to imitate us. You will make just about any sound we do. . . except Mama, you little tease! Some of your favorite words are "sish" (fish), "Boo!", "ticky ticky" (for tickles), "tank too" (thank you), dadda, and Va Va Va Vee (for when we were trying to teach Will how to say "Vee").
Today, your grandma Jane said, "Just think about where you were a year ago and how happy you aren't there right now!"
And I thought to myself that the day you were born was the best day of my life and I would give a lot to be able to live that day again. Yes, of course, there were some stressful (and even painful) moments, but what I really remember was the peacefulness that came into my soul the moment you were placed into my arms. Those moments with just your Daddy, you, and me in the hospital were filled with bliss and happiness. I had waited my whole life to hold you in my arms, to kiss your sweet face, to count your fingers and watch them curl tightly around my hand. My whole life, I wanted to be a mommy, but I had no idea that what I really wanted was to be Will's Mommy and your Mommy. I had no idea what being a mommy meant until you and your brother arrived to show me. Each day, you teach me more and more about what it truly means to be a mother.
Today is your first birthday. I am sad to be saying goodbye to your babyhood but I am already looking forward to all of the wonderful and amazing times that we have ahead. Watching you grow into a toddler, then a little girl, and finally a woman will be the greatest honor and privilege of my life. I know I will make mistakes along the way, I know that there are times that I will let you down. Please know that I will always do my best to be the very best mother to you that I can be and to guide you a long the way, while also stepping back and giving you room to grow and conquer the world on your own.
Also know that there are times along the way that you will make mistakes. You will think you have let me down. I promise you this, Sweetest Girl: there is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you less. I will always be proud of you and humbled by the opportunity to be your mommy. All that I want for you is health, happiness, and faith in yourself. You will do amazing things, my wonderful daughter, and I will be there, cheering you on and bursting with pride. I can't wait to see who you become, because the person you are today is just a tiny fraction of who you will one day be, and yet you are already so amazing, I don't honestly know how you could get any better.
Yet I know you will.
With love forever and always,