My gorgeous 1-year-old.
Happy birthday, Mercedes! This year has come and gone in a flash, and it will always stand out in my memory as a defining year in both of our lives. This last year I grew into the role of "mother" and you flourished from a dependent, squishy newborn in to a vivacious, tenacious toddler. Watching your personality emerge has been a joy, and I suspect it will continue to be a treat for years to come.
Part of me mourns the process of watching you grow more independent. Time seems to slip through my fingers as I attempt to cherish every part of each new stage of your life. But as much as I will fondly reminisce on this first year with you, I am eager to watch and guide you as your life continues to unfold. There are so many wonderful things ahead for you that sometimes I feel silly for not wanting to let go. I constantly find myself thinking "this is my favorite stage," but I'm certain I will likely continue to think that the rest of our living relationship. And, of course, selfishly, part of me is excited for your development because that means I gain a little bit more independence myself. Moms need at least a little freedom, you know?
My darling girl, there will come a time where each new development in your life seems more thrilling than the last. If you're anything like your mother, you will burn through afternoons daydreaming about tomorrow. Do your best to not squander today in anticipation of tomorrow's adventures. Enjoy the here and now. Find joy in the journey. I promise, you'll never regret it. And, I promise, I'll be right beside you for the whole journey.