Thursday, June 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Natalie, this is the first of your many birthday letters to come. It's a tradition I want to start so you'll have a chronicle of your life through my eyes. And selfishly it's for me too, so I remember just how amazing you are at every stage.

But first, you should know that this letter may always be late. Today should be May 22nd as I write this, but it's not. It's June already. I'm sorry! But really, you better get used to it. It runs in the family, I inherited it from my mom, and frankly, your dad isn't any better than me. You're doomed to a life of lateness, in one form or another. We'll try, but I'm sure this may frustrate you at times. I apologize in advance.

Wow Natalie, what a year. You have accomplished so much more than I have this year. When we brought you home last year, we didn't know what to do. Now, I know just what makes you happy... playing peekaboo, chasing the kitty, watching bubbles or dancing with me holding you in my arms. You have brought your dad and I so much joy this year, that I don't think words can express it. I love walking into your room and finding you standing in your crib with that big gummy grin on your face, ready for a day of fun.

You are such a social creature! You love nothing more than taking a walk in the stroller and smiling at everyone you see, just to get them to smile back and chat with you. And at that, you are almost always successful. You love the attention! I find this so endearing, and wonder how this will fit into your personality as you get older. I hope you always smile at strangers with the hope of getting one in return.

You are also a complete water baby, just like your dad. You love, love, love being in the pool, even being dunked. You love the beach, and your most recent discovery of fun... SAND! You just jet off and I can already envision you running around the beach soon, maybe by the end of this summer. I know you'll be so cute I just can't stand it.

On the not so endearing side, you really seem to enjoy throwing your food and sippy cups out of your highchair. Whether or not you're still hungry. And lately, you have no time for diaper changes. You wiggle and squirm and if I don't have just the perfect distraction, you leave a huge mess in your wake. I know you're just excited to keep exploring, but could you cut your mom just a bit of slack? You're also an early bird, I don't know where the hell that came from. I don't love this, but accept it as my fate for the time being. I've got my whole life to sleep, and you will be this age only once... I'll blink and it will be gone.

Natalie, I love you so much. I look forward to the 2nd year of your life and all the changes you will go through. I cannot wait to enjoy each moment as it comes. Soon enough, I won't be the center of your world, and I know I'll long for these days. Just don't run away too fast, okay?

Birthday Girl