Saturday, January 24, 2009

365 days and counting

Hannah, you were one-year-old yesterday. Congratulations on getting through might be both the most difficult and the easiest year of your entire life.

Certainly, year one is confusing. You are brought forth into a world you didn't ask for and have no context within. You are bombarded with stimuli and sensations that are nothing but confusing for hour upon hour, day upon day. Everything is unknown and all is a challenge. But you have been resilient and bore up against the strain and madness with a determined force that will grow and develop into a unique perspective and life that all around you will benefit to know.

And on the other hand, this first year is also your easiest. All your needs are met--much more so than at any time thereafter, let me tell you. You are enveloped with unconditional love and admiration from all sides. Even the slightest success on your part is held up for extravagant praise. You can do no wrong and what you need is always what is taken care of.

You have grown to recognize those around you who mean the most to you. The tall thing with the soft voice, the warm embrace, and pleasing smell is Mother. She is always there for you, immediately ready to lift you up, sing your praises, and steer you in the right direction. Mother will lay down her life, her work, and her all for your needs. Remember her and honor her today and for every day thereafter.

The Quiet One Who Plays With You Quietly is Sister 1. She is protective of you and watches you. She understands how to meet you where you are, but can challenge you in ways that stretch your abilities. She has a happy laugh and a quick smile all for you whenever you need it. She talks back to you in ways that you understand.

The Quick One With the Energy is Sister 2. She loves you so much and is always excited to show you what to do. She will be your fiercest protector as you get older and will share all that she knows with you. I can see you two becoming friends for many years. She will surround you with energy and vibrant love that will take your breath away.

The Tall One with the Loud Voice is Daddy. Sometimes he is quietly watching you but he will challenge you to take on new discoveries. If you want to, Daddy will hold you safe and tell you secrets that no one else can hear. He loves to make you smile and feel best when he hears you laugh. You are given permission to crawl all over him . . . as long as he gets to flip you upside down whenever he wants. He will always be there for you.

You have many years ahead of you and lots more to learn and see. These people with you will be there to share those experiences. With us you can always be yourself. We've known you from the beginning and we will be with you until the end.

(To see a video of the birthday girl enjoying her birthday cupcake, click here.)

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