Dear Lily June,
It is impossible to put into a single post all the things I’m feeling now that you’ve officially had your first birthday. There’s nostalgia, so many fond memories of the last year of your life, and the best year of mine. There’s bittersweetness, now that you’ve earned your first “digit.” You are still my baby, but you’re also one step closer to growing up. There’s the pain and beauty in recalling your actual birth. So many things went wrong in the delivery and yet, it’s not how you arrived but that you arrived, safe and sound and into my arms that mattered. And overall, Lily June, there’s love. So much love. Unfathomable depths and indescribable quantities of love.
There is only one you. And you are one, little one. Thank you for every day of the past year of your life. The memory of these days will be a gift to me for the rest of mine.
That cliché that the years fly by but the days last forever? It’s true, Lily June. I can tell you this: This particular day will last forever, from waking to find the picture someone sent of your happy birthday wish written in the sand in my inbox (such gratitude, stranger! You’ll never know!) to taking you for a ride in your first car (your big gift this year) to opening the rest of your presents to watching you not just devour but decimate your birthday cake. (If Godzilla were a baby, your cake was Tokyo, Lily.)
I am not a brief writer, by any stretch of the imagination. So on the theory that a picture’s worth a thousand words, I now give you 10,000 words about your first birthday. I say this now and will say it forever: Thank you, Lily, for my life.