I remember the day you were born so vividly. I think about it all the time. I hope you don’t take the look of shock on my face when we first met as a bad thing. I was just so surprised that my body actually gave birth to you and that you were a real, live human.
You didn’t cry at first. We had to rub your back to get things moving. Now you sing and yell and say “mAma” with the bravado of an Italian woman.
We came alive when you came into the world, and every day since then I have thought about you more than anything or anyone else.
I’m trying to remember what I remember most about this first year of you. Ups and downs like any other years, but ups higher than the mountain tops, and downs that dropped a little below our comfort zone.
It was a bewildering year full of paradoxes and wonder. I’ve never wanted something to stay the same, yet continue growing more in my life. Many of your early days resembled a tired, elated, blissed-out blur. Holidays, trips and milestones all punctuate the simple, yet extraordinary everyday happenings of your year.
Some of them funny, like when Dada, in a moment of parental desperation, bounced with you in the ergo at 3am – in his birthday suit – while singing the Star-Spangled Banner just to get you to sleep.
I’m always asking my mom (Nonni) what I was like as a kid, so that I can understand my true self. This is a snapshot of who you are now:
- Your energy is magnetic. A trip to the grocery store with you makes me feel like a celebrity.
- When you spot Dada from across the room, you smile so hard at him. Your eyes carry a hint of sparkle and the usual amount of mischief.
- You are independent, confident and fearless. When we walk together, you sometimes pull your hand out of mine, subtly saying, “I can do this on my own, Mom”.
- You have a mind of your own and you don’t care what people think; and people love you because of it. You are my greatest teacher.
- You say our names now. What started out as “Mamika” and “Dikka” are more clearly Mama and Dada.
- You stick your tongue out, point to your nose, raise your hands tall like a tree and say, “oooh ooh and aah aah” like a monkey.
- You are always on a mission. To the kitchen! To the books! To Sammie’s water bowl!
- You smile all the time. You make us the happiest people in the world, because that’s what you are.
As you grow into your second year of life, I grow more into Mom, more into me.
Happy 1st birthday my sweet Maisley Moo. I love you more than you know.