It's here, big girl. You are actually, really, I'm not even kidding...one year old! On your first birthday, I spent the entire morning replaying the day of your birth in my mind. I remember waking up of my own devices, a luxury I haven't had since that special day. I remember my first contraction and the thrill that came along with it. This is it, I thought, she'll be here soon! I remember the rush to the hospital, the frantic mad dash to get where we were supposed to be. And I remember looking at the clock at 11:00 am and saying to myself I'm only doing this for one more hour. If she's not here by noon, I'm quitting! Which of course, sounds absurd now, in hindsight. I didn't have to keep sweating and screaming until noon, because you...my sweet, dear, amazing child...you were born at 11:16 am on Thursday, June 21st, 2012. I remember the relief; looking down at you and knowing that you were extremely and supremely perfect in every given way. My baby. My Margot.
You, the one who spent so much time snuggled inside of me, were finally on the outside and I could see you with my own two eyes. The second I touched you, I knew I would love you forever and ever. I knew there was nothing you could ever do or ever say that would make me love you more or less than I did at that very second...than I still do today...than I will forever and ever. You are so perfect.
Your first year was filled with adventures. There were difficult times, but they weren't difficult for any other reason than babies and toddlers can be difficult to manage. Sure, I've taken care of a baby before, but I've never done it with a two year old running around and at times I thought I might lose my mind! You cried a lot, but not any more than normal babies. You and I had plenty of sleepless nights, but now that those are over I look back and remember the sweet parts. I'll never forget the night I woke up to nurse you at 1am, resentful and frustrated that I had to feed you AGAIN, and I heard the teenage girl next door pull in her driveway. As soon as I heard her door shut, I looked down at you, all snuggly and warm in my arms, so tiny and so helpless, and I thought, Oh, thank God we're awake together! Thank God it's 1 am and I KNOW where my daughter is. Thank God she wants ME in the middle of the night and I am all she needs.
Someday I won't know where you are in the middle of the night, so between now and then, I'll do all I can to make sure you know how to make good choices and to learn from the bad ones. I can already tell that your sense of humor will serve you well. You have a way with people. You make tensions ease, you turn frowns upside down, and it's not just because you're a baby. It's because you have a gleam in your eye and a smirk of a smile that seem to say, "Hey...relax. Life is good. Let's enjoy each other."
You are especially charming at dinner time. Dinner used to be stressful, back when you weren't on a schedule and I didn't know what to do with your sister and I could barely keep my own eyes open long enough to eat. But now, we all sit down at the table, sharing good food and talking to each other. You love to make noises and wait for our reactions. You love to laugh and roar and for the last couple months, almost every dinner has included a raucous session of non-stop laughing from all of us. That's just what you've done to our family. And I love it.
You might be a big one year old, miss Margot, but you are still...and will always be...my sweet baby. Your snuggles are epic, your giggles are unforgettable, and your eyes are like stars that fell from the sky. I love you more than words and I can't wait to see what the next year will bring. Happy Birthday, sweet girl. You are my favorite work of art.
Love forever and ever, to the moon and back a million times,