Happy Birthday, Avra

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 20: What are some of your favorite memories from this year?

Dear Avra,

I can’t believe that today you are one year old! Where has the time gone? Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write these words and reflect on all that we have shared this year. So many wonderful memories—moments that I hope I will never forget.

I hope I never forget what it was like to hold you in my arms for the very first time. I burst into a mess of tears the moment your skin touched mine. I was exhausted from the hard work of delivering you after a sleepless night and overwhelmed with relief that it was finally over. But more than anything else, I was astonished by how extraordinarily perfect you were.

I hope I will never forget how precious you looked all wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in your baby box underneath the tree on your very first Christmas. So cozy and snug, I couldn’t believe that you were mine.

I hope I never forget what it was like to rock you to sleep—so sweet and heartwarming. Your daddy described it as “that feeling you get when you put on a warm sweater straight out of the dryer, except it’s like you’re putting it on your heart.”

I hope I never forget how cute you were when it was time for you to wake up and I would ever-so-gently undo the Velcro on your swaddle sack. Boy, you loved being swaddled, but you also loved being able to stretch out those tiny arms the moment the sack came off!

I hope I never forget all of the beautiful firsts. When you smiled, when you recognized me, when you giggled, when you rolled over, when you sat up, when you crawled, when you climbed the stairs, when you ate real food, when you said mama and dada, when your first tooth poked through, when you stood on your own and took a few steps… your daddy and I were filled with so much pride and joy!

I hope I never forget your sweet sigh, your tiny sneeze, or your deep, throaty belly laugh. Every little sound you made was music to my ears.

I hope I never forget our first major family trip to Atlanta and Myrtle Beach—how you slept in your carrier while we played mini golf, how much fun the lazy river was, or how we enjoyed strolling along the boardwalk nextto the ocean. You were such a good little traveller and had no trouble adjusting to so much change.

I hope I never forget how full of joy you always were—constantly smiling and ready to have fun! Even on the days when you refused to nap, or the time our flight to Kelowna was delayed for hours and you got outrageously overtired… even then you set such an incredible example for me of how to choose joy in all circumstances.

I hope I never forget our summer out at Pleasantview. You were so popular—everyone loved you so much! You had so much fun helping daddy check cabins, sitting by the pool, and playing music with mommy.

I hope I never forget how much I loved watching you learn to play. One time I just sat and stared as you dropped a little toy into a bowl and then tipped the bowl upside-down over your head… and then did the same thing over, and over again. I was mesmerized by the simple game you had created just for yourself.

I hope I never forget how funny you were! When you would goof off with your daddy, or you would watch something roll under the couch and flatten yourself into a pancake on the floor to follow it with your eyes.

I hope I never forget how cute you were with your “Lovey”. It was just a little kitty head attached to a piece of receiving blanket… but you grew so attached. You wanted to take Lovey everywhere and protected her fiercely.

I know I will forget some things about this year. I know that the memories will fade over time. But I hope I never forget the feeling—that feeling of the deepest love I could possibly imagine and the richest joy I could conceivably endure. It’s all you, Avra. And it always will be.

I love you so much, my precious child. Happy birthday.


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