Thursday, December 24, 2015

52 Blessed Weeks

Dear Ivy,
Today, we take the 52-week picture. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, you turn one year old. You've been with us for a whole year. 

I watch you grow and I love to see it--but I hate it just a little bit too. I wish I could have kept you a newborn longer, kept you an infant, a baby who was just learning to sit, to stand. Not forever. But for just a little longer. These days with you have been precious.

(the day after you were born)

(the day after you were born)

In the middle of two difficult years, your arrival was a shining, bright blessing. Your little life has brought us so much joy, so many smiles and so many snuggles. As the song says, you'll never know, dear, how much we love you.

We have savored every moment of this year. It's true. We paid attention, and we didn't let it speed past us. We enjoyed it all. You still don't sleep through the night, and as much as I would love a full night sleep, I really don't mind getting up with you. I know--how I know--that these moments with you are so short, so fleeting. I have soaked in all the moments we've had together, little one, nursing, rocking. The small moments, the little patches of slow in the middle of fast, quiet in the middle of noise. Your daddy has held you, rocked you, breathed you in and breathed out the cares of life. That's the magic of your babyhood.

Your siblings adore you. We all do. You bring so much joy--your happy smile, your sunny personality, your easy-going nature, and the way you prefer your family to anyone else. We all--all six of us--delight in you.

But for now, I just want to think about your daddy and me, and how much you have changed our lives for the better. You, sweet girl, are a gift to us. When you grow up, you may not like having a Christmas Day birthday, but to us, it seems like the perfect day for you to be born. You are a gift, a mercy, a blessing, grace wrapped up in a blue-eyed baby.

And I know that the days to come will be wonderful as we watch you grow into a little girl and beyond. But for today, I am so glad that you're still my baby. I will still hold you while you go to sleep, rock you when you cry, kiss your cheeks and hold your baby fingers. You're still my baby, even though tomorrow you will be one year old. And I'm still soaking up every minute of the blessing that your babyhood is to us. We love you, Ivy Hope. You're a gift, now and forever.

Happy birthday.