Happy Birthday, River!
Since your birth, I’ve been continually reminded to never, ever take your presence for granted. From your scary, 2-months-early leap into the world at just 2.5 pounds, to our friend Kirsten losing her darling Ewan-baby so recently, I’m reminded daily that having you in my life is a blessing and privilege. I don’t know why I’ve been given so many of these reminders, but I’m grateful for them; and most of all, I’m grateful for you.
This year of being a Mom has been a whirlwind:
a fun, low-key New Year’s celebration with Auntie Rose
your baptism into the Anglican church in the same church where your Dad and I got married
You’re now SIX TIMES LARGER than you were at birth (yep, that’s 15 pounds!). You grab our fingers and pull yourself up to stand. You can sit up like a big girl with no support. You’re endlessly playful, enjoying your toys, exersaucer, walker, bouncy chair, books, blocks, and “Locks & Latches” board.
Your favorite activities are jumping (preferably with someone holding you), playing “horsy” with Dad, and emptying containers of whatever is in them. You took your first three steps two days ago. You were holding my index fingers and walking toward your toys. As you got near them, you simply let go of my fingers and took 3 steps as if it was the easiest thing in the world. I love the fearless way you go after what you want. You’re also enchanted with the American Sign Language alphabet and even move your fingers to try to imitate the movements when we sign it to you.
Your faux-hawk (you can thank your Dad’s Asian heritage for that) is the source of many compliments when we go out. I appreciate your faux hawk for the “mom street cred” it gives me—it makes me look far more edgy and trend-setting than I actually am. Also, it’s effortless—your hair pops up on its own after a bath, and stays that way no matter what!
On the train to and from NYC, you make eye contact with other passengers, willing them to smile or make faces at you (they always do) and rewarding them with that crinkle-eyed, thousand-watt smile of yours. If they’re very lucky, they’ll even get one of your rollicking, infectious giggles or belly-laughs.
You enjoy eating your melt-away, organic apple and veggie puffs, pureed prunes, butternut squash & corn, oatmeal, fruit purees, cinnamon cookies, and rice cereal.
Your Dad tried to encourage you to hold your own bottle one day when you didn’t want to. You looked him in the eye and hurled the bottle to the floor, even though you were hungry. Yep, that’s my strong, opinionated girl, already taking a stand!
You’re also increasingly vocal by the day! Every morning, I hear new syllables, consonant combinations, and even entire words from you. It never fails to amaze me, even though it happens daily!
This year, we look forward to more adventures on the East Coast and seeing what is in store for us once your Dad’s PA residency ends in September. We are also focusing on keeping you healthy—for now, this is the final year in which we have to be uber-careful to not let you get sick. This just means that we’re hand-washing, hand sanitizer-spraying helicopter parents who don’t let anyone touch you until that person has cleaned up. We don’t mind. : ) Your Dad and I also pray for you to come to a loving relationship with our Creator, one that empowers you to love with your heart, soul, and mind and to share that love with those you encounter.
Your smile, determination, assertiveness, affection, and zest for life bring joy to everyone around you, River. Happy First Birthday! We love you more than words can say.