I’ve been dreading the thought of writing this.
I’m in denial.
Somehow 12 months passed before our eyes in an instant. Each one of those 365 full days filled with awe. It’s an incredible gift to watch a baby go from sleeping all day, with eyes barely open to a full fledged, walking, squealing toddler. All the life changes that have happened in a mere 12 months. The holding up of a head, finding hands and feet, seeing the world for the first time. Not to mention sitting up, babbling, smiling, eating, rolling over, standing, talking/signing, laughing, walking. Incredible.
And to think as her mother, I was able to be there for all of those firsts. Blessing upon blessing. From before she was born we began the process of taking every little moment in. In the midst of waiting, we hoped. In the midst of growing her, we loved. In the midst of watching her, we marveled. I’m not sure if it was the waiting that came before, but we’ve been soaking these days up so they never fade away; putting aside things just to play, and cuddle, and laugh, and sing.
God always knows what we need before we receive it and He knew we needed Elizabeth in our lives. She has shown us so many things about ourselves, given new meaning to grace, and unearthed years of struggle and joy. And she has allowed us to love like never before. This daughter of ours…to think I get to be her mother. Amazing.
I’ve needed her. Truly and selfishly, I have. In some ways, I fear failure. Somewhere along the line fear has crept in and flowed over. But Elizabeth, she faces everything head on. Curiosity and bravery are in her. Just last night, while we were sitting in our backyard, she toddled next door to play in our neighbor’s sprinkler. The water was pelting out in a large stream and towards it she went. And she got close, two feet away close, then turned and ran back toward us, a big smile on her face.
And I want to do everything I can to foster this unquenchable curiosity. I find myself saying “be careful” more than I say “no”. She is fearless, curious, full of joy, and mama’s little helper. She loves to help; put diapers in the garbage, empty the dishwasher, take things out of the fridge. Any way she can, she wants to be a part of our every day going-on’s. I love this about her emerging personality.
At one year old, she’s been ahead of the curve in some areas and not so ahead in others. But everyday it seems she wakes up ready for the day and you can just see her brain begin to take everything in. From the cocking of her head to hear the birds, her bouncing when music fills the room, feeling the rocks in her hands, splashing the water in the pool, watching intently as daddy works on our deck. It’s amazing to watch someone learn, taking the world in around her. Right now trying to master the buckles on her high chair and stroller keeps her attention for quite some time.
As she flushes the toilet in amazement, her brain is taking in cause and effect. Feeling the rocks, tasting her toys, crinkling paper. All the senses finding their way. I just love re-learning everything around me through her eyes. Of course, every day isn’t perfect, she’s not perfect, and like any other toddler she is incredibly determined. There’s discipline intermixed, tears falling, but through it all, she’s learning life, right alongside of us. Consequences, grace, manners, how things work, how they taste, how they move. All created for us.
That’s what life is, learning and re-learning, walking in grace, growing, being sanctified, falling down and getting back up. As much as we teach her and more, she’s teaching us. About so many different things.
To say we’re blessed to have her in our lives doesn’t seem to quite envelop all that’s in our hearts. She’s ours. And those two words seem a dream come true. So many things we pray for her but mostly we just want her to grow just as He created her to be…uniquely her.
And as you may have noticed, this was less about milestones and more about how our family has changed for the better, but in case you are curious about Elizabeth, here are some little tidbits.
Elizabeth’s 1st Favorites
Foods: Anything and everything…scrambled eggs, smoothies, carnitas from Chipotle, mexican food, pasta, peas, berries, graham crackers
Toys: Anything that isn’t a toy…rocks, paper, the dirt pile in our backyard, keys…the swimming pool, her picnic basket, and any type of ball
Sizes: She weighs 22 pounds, wears a size 4 diaper, and 12-18 month clothing
Sleep: 2-1.5 hour naps and 12 hours at night with her blankie and pacifier
Words: Uh-oh, mama, dada, bye-bye, blankie (which sounds just like bye-bye)
Abilities: walking, running, squatting, blowing, squealing, putting her face in the water, drinking from a straw, ring stacker, waving, kissing, clapping