You Are Truly One Year

you are loved and have been loved.  you are Real and will never become unreal.

for some reason, today, four days after your birthday celebration, i found the emotions of what it is to both be so sad that you are leaving this baby stage as well as the feelings of great anticipation.  i've felt over-loaded on so many other emotions surrounding your birthday and have been busy planning for it, that i've felt detached from focusing on you, dear audrey.  i grieved that there wasn't a cloud of friends who knew you from birth singing to you as you sat in front of that one lit candle.  i grieved that you were not in the home we made for you, prepared for you, when we welcomed you into the world last year.  i grieved that the weather wasn't a rich-coldness like it was on the evening when you arrived.  and in all of that, the realness of you turning one was somewhat lost on what wasn't here.

but today, i looked back in the rear view mirror of the car and saw your reflection in your carseat mirror.  it was a one-year-old's face.  your coos and loud "ahhh's" were those of a young toddler.  and i felt the ping of sadness a person gets when saying good-bye to something with such wonderful memories attached to it.  i wasn't saying good-bye to babyhood necessarily, but it was a reminder that i did need to be okay with letting you grow out of it.  and for that to happen, i cried and remembered the sweetness of your baby-self in this first year of your life.  your sweet baby hands will grow.  your body will get too long to sit still within the parameters of my lap.  your babbles will become words recognized by others.

but what i think is also so neat about you turning one, is the whole beauty that lays ahead!  it was so unknown with your sister and a bit scary.  but wow, audrey, there is so much light and depth and wonder that is yet to come.  i can't wait to learn more about your personality and to actually hear your voice put the sounds of, "i love you" out into the open; or better yet, whispered into my ear.   we will get to walk together and hold hands because you chose mine, wanting to hold it; not because you need them to stay upright on your feet.  and that is beauty in you becoming one and then two and then three...  and you will move on your own and run and jump and crawl everywhere to test out your little body.  but then you will choose to crawl up into my lap and lay your silky-haired head on my arm and let me rock you to sleep.  it won't be because i've gathered you up from your crib and you don't know any other way about it.  and we will talk about so many things--imaginary animals and worlds--and you will ask many questions i will try to answer.  but you will listen and you will understand because your mind is growing and drinking up knowledge.  and you will be silly and adventurous, you will understand reasons why, you will see differences, you will love, you will be creative and you will become...Real.  you.

and we have so much to look forward to.  i say good-bye to your babyhood.  capture those sweet memories in my heart.  and then hold you close as we journey into another year older.

you are so cherished my love.  you have been wonderfully, joyfully knit together in my womb.  you have been rejoiced over with songs.  you are worth dying for.  and this is what i will teach you because it is true.  our God is the One who makes you Real.

happy birthday and such happiness to come.