Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And now you're one . . .

Dear Camille,

Tonight I rocked you before bedtime for old times' sake.  For me mostly of course.  You will be one tomorrow and part of me had to hold on to eleven months for a few extra minutes tonight.  I know nothing magical happens tonight at midnight (or I suppose technically at 2:15 pm tomorrow, August 23rd), but I'm having a tough time saying goodbye to the first year of life with you and hello to the beginning of the second.  The joy that your first year has brought me, your Papa, your sisters, and the rest of your family is without limit.  You are hands down the most content baby I have known.  You move seamlessly into new situations, you are trusting of new people, you take life in stride.  I suppose being the youngest of three girls will do that to you, but I have a suspicion that you would have had that easy demeanor regardless of your birth order.

Your laugh is music.  You smile with your whole self; your eyes light up, your hands go up in the air, your body moves, and of course your six-and-a-half tooth mouth grins wide.  You haven't met a food that you don't like.  Except for baby food.  You exhibit the same independence with eating that Caroline did and will only allow another to feed you if it is absolutely necessary.  If it is possible in any way for your to feed yourself, you will find a way.

You are crawling around like crazy; your little hands and knees take you places quickly.  And we have to watch what we leave on the ground, because the inquisitive one that you are, you miss nothing.  If it's in your line of sight, you will find it.  And eat it.  You love paper.  No magazine is safe in your presence.  Our magazine rack is a magnet for you and we have the torn and crumpled pages to prove it.

Caroline and Charlotte light up your life.  You love them in a way that is impossible to describe in words.  While for the most part you trend on the serious side, one silly look or smile or laugh from your sisters, and you are in stitches.  No one can make you laugh like they do.  And you bring out the best in them.  They cater to you and help me with you in ways big and small.  Of course, they have their moments, and sometimes their "helping" looks more like hurting to Mama and Papa.  We're always there to intervene though, and I know the three of you are building a history each day you are together.  Nothing makes me happier than to see the three of you together.

You love walks in the stroller, but the wagon is your favorite.  You are great about riding in the car.  You enjoy watching at the park more than swinging.  You love the pool.  And your bath.  You can play until the water is too cold for your own good.

You love music.  YOU LOVE MUSIC.  Your body moves with the rhythm of any song that comes on, but you especially love to listen to your Papa play his guitar.  You've kind of become a bit of a Daddy's Girl lately, which makes me smile.  If you see him, you put your arms out and this morning you even said, "Pa Pa" for the first time.  If he pulls out his guitar and walks to the other room, you whine to go join him.

You love me well.  Each night when I put you to bed, all I have to do is put your blanky on my shoulder and put your pacifier in your mouth and you lay your sweet head on my shoulder and close your eyes.  I often close my own eyes trying to snap a mental picture of that moment.  Holding you in the dark of your room next to your crib, your sweet-smelling head under my chin, soft baby breath on my neck.  It is heaven.

Sweet girl, you are a gift and I am thankful beyond words to the One who has entrusted you to us.  I pray to be a good steward of your precious life and heart.



Button said...

What a beautiful homage to your youngest! She seems like such a delightful child (and the kind of easy baby every mama hopes for.) You look so lovely after giving birth. I looked like I'd been hit by a van, but I guess you've had more practice! :)

Lindsey B said...

This is so beautiful Ashley!

Happy Birthday sweet girl!!!