When your mom put the cake in front of you, you stared at it with that intensity you get when you find something really interesting. Ever the intrepid explorer you stuck your hand right in. When you pulled it out your rubbed your fingers together thoughtfully, feeling the cake and icing slide between your fingers. Then you put your hand to your mouth and it stayed there for a full two minutes like you couldn’t believe what was happening in your mouth.
It’s hard to believe that a year has past since we met. I remember the day your mom came running into the living room, pants around her knees, tears streaming down her face, waving the pregnancy test frantically in her hand. It didn’t feel real. We’d been trying to get pregnant, but when we finally succeeded in making you it felt like the whole world tilted on its side.
The fear came next. Change is inevitable, but for the first time I worried about how I would measure up to the challenges ahead. Your mom and I are pretty good at dealing the obstacles life throws at us individually and we’re even better at it together. However, I’m not too proud to admit that the thought of screwing you up in some way terrifies me. You see, there’s a lot about myself I don’t like. I have an addiction to food that I constantly struggle with, I’m a horrible procrastinator, I occasionally check out of life emotionally speaking, and when I become hyper focused on something I tend to neglect everything else around me. I sometimes fall into really black moods where I can’t see how wonderful my life is and how blessed I am to be loved by a wonderful woman and a beautiful baby girl.
Then I heard your heart beat for the first time. After several weeks walking around in a haze I finally caught my first glimpse of you and the world snapped into focus. Somehow you became more real to me in that moment, and the fear began to slowly shape into something else. Anticipation. I couldn’t wait to meet you. I couldn’t wait to share my passions with you. I couldn’t wait to help you discover the world and discover your own strength as that world tested you time and again.
You came to us on November 29th, 2013 on Black Friday. You were four weeks early because your mom’s blood pressure spiked and wouldn’t come down. When I held you in my arms for the first time, I realized that I have loved you all my life–even before I’d met you. Becoming your father has taught me new capacities for love that I didn’t even know were possible. This past year has gone by too fast, but it’s been an absolute joy. You’ve grown so much in the past year and I can’t imagine how much more you will grow in the months and years ahead. You are a most precious addition to our family, and we love you very much.
Happy Birthday, my precious girl.