My baby girl is one. What a wonderful, sweet day of celebration we have had! Like all moms I’m sure, I feel like this day is surreal—surely it wasn’t that long ago that she was nestled up on my chest, sleeping most of the day away? (Actually, that part DOES feel like a long time ago :)).
The Bible says that children are a heritage from the Lord, and a reward. Life is so sweet with Linnea, and I really do thank Jesus for her little life multiple times each day. I am so thankful for the grace he has given me as I’ve grown as a mama, and it is a true joy for me to watch this little person grow up and come into her own personality. She loves birds. She loves dogs. She is friendly to strangers but wants to be held by her mama. She loves pushing things across the floor, especially boxes of her toys and her orange pail, as well as the high chair. She says “oh” in the cutest voice when something new catches her eye and interests her. And she can always spot a bird on the lamppost at the other side of our block from her own perch on her high chair way before I’ve noticed it.
I love her sweet giggles with that mouth full of teeth; the serene expression on her face when she’s curled up next to me, sleeping soundly in bed; the high-pitched squeal of her tearing down the hallway, knowing she’s being chased; and when she pulls on my pant leg, saying MaMaMaMaMa, wanting me to pick her up.
I love playing with her, laughing with her, nursing, singing, chasing, dancing, eating, snuggling, walking, bike riding. I cannot imagine my life without her. I have nice memories of my past but they really are just that—right now this IS my life and I would not have it any other way. I am just delighted to be Linnea’s mama and thank God every day that I am the one with that title and responsibility. We have come a long way from her endless cries at night and waltzing through the darkened apartment to get her to fall asleep. We have changed a lot, learned a lot, grown a lot, and had to depend a lot on God’s grace; and we have known far more joy than we could ever have imagined.
Just now I was nursing her to sleep. I do this every night. It is what has worked the best for Linnea and for me and I have done it for her since her birth. I am glad we made it to the 1-year mark, and though I do often wonder how much longer it will be (cause bites do hurt, ya’ll), I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the dark I thanked God for her and her wonderful first year. I snuggled her up to me and we rocked and I just basked in the love of my family. I felt like Mary treasuring things up in her heart after Jesus was born. When it was time to lay Linnea down in her crib, I kissed her softly and then held my hand over her, and prayed over her sleep, her future, her salvation, her husband-to-be, and for the patience, wisdom, grace, knowledge, and perseverance I will need to be her mama into her second year. Then I blew her a kiss and went out. It often isn’t that easy, but tonight it was (even after chocolate cake!), and I’m thankful for that. But more than the ease of tonight’s bedtime routine, I’m thankful that, whether easy or hard, I’m the one getting to be there through it all. And to snuggle again in a few hours.
Linnea girl, I love you with all my heart. Happy birthday baby girl.
(Pictures and party stories soon to come!)