You are 1 year old. That’s 1 year of smiling, crying, laughter, confusion, understanding, mistakes and fixing those mistakes. When I brought you home, the only thing I kept thinking was I really am responsible for this tiny human life. No one told me the first thing you do when you get a baby home. I literally was terrified. Terrified that I would get something wrong. Terrified that you wouldn’t respond well to me. I was even scared that you wouldn’t love me.
We had some major struggles in the beginning. Breastfeeding was a nightmare, at first, but mommy was not going to give up. I can still hear your hunger cries. It was such a curdling scream that at times I wanted to cry myself. I felt like a failure of a mom because I wasn’t able to feed you like you needed to be fed. It was such a horrible feeling. On top of the lack (extreme lack) of sleep, my cup was drawing pretty near to dry. And still having to be your mommy, was tiring.
Then things got better. I’m not sure when but we began to form a bond. I could tell that you were starting to trust that mommy would be here for you. While I know this bond will only grow with time, it is also my job to remind you that you are loved, protected and respected. Even as a child. As my child.
I promise to give you every piece of me. At all times. You have caused me to grow in a plethora of ways. I just never knew how much my strength, patience, love and resilience was inside of me until I had you. The lessons that you teach me daily are priceless. To never give up. To stay consistent, no matter the circumstances and to just be present in every moment. Mommy isn’t always the teacher. Sometimes, I’m the student.
I love you so much Leilani. There just aren’t enough words to truly explain how thankful I am that God saw fit to bless me with you. You’re everything I never knew I needed. But God knew. And He sent me the best gift ever. Happy 1st Birthday to you Leilani Rene’ and many, many more.