A couple of weeks ago, I had to pick up your Lolo and Lola from the airport. It was pretty late, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and blasted the stereo on my way home. I used to do that sort of thing a lot: Go out alone, stay up late, and indulge in my favorite things. As I drove up the empty highway back toward our house, my mind flashed back to my days as a young, single girl, before I had you, before I had Henry, before I met your Papa.
I had no idea back then what my life would be like. I just knew what I wanted. I wanted a job I enjoyed. I wanted a husband who understood me. I wanted a home we could call our own. And I wanted children—two to be exact. I wanted a son, and I wanted you: My very own daughter.
I have said it before, and I'll say it again: When you were born, a dream of mine came true. And now, a year later, I am still pinching myself.
Now, your big brother is a pretty wonderful guy, so I wasn't sure we it was possible to have another kid just as cool. But we got lucky twice! You are amazing, Maira, and it has been so much fun getting to know you.
Photo by Lali Hughes
You are radiant and healthy.
You are curious and sensitive.
You are a daredevil.
You are a goofball.
You are just plain lovable.
Some of your favorite things over the past year:
- Chasing your brother around the house
- Teasing him, too
- Oh, and of course, playing with all of his toys
- Dancing with your papa
- Bouncing on my knee
- Eating (you are so tiny, but your appetite is huge)
- Napping (I'm scared to even say it out loud, but you are such a good sleeper)
Some of your least favorite things:
- Diaper changes
- Having your face & hands wiped after a meal
- Getting your hair done or your nails clipped
It's not that you don't like grooming, just that you don't like sitting still!
- Being woken up from a good sleep
Some things you do:
- Cruise along the furniture
- Take one or two unsteady steps between tables and chairs
- Steal food from our plates (you ate all kinds of things before you were really supposed to)
- Drink from a straw
- Clap, when anyone does something you approve of
- Play peek-a-boo
- Wave, often 2 minutes after it's appropriate to do so
- High-five, when asked to
- Kiss, when you feel like it
- Put your head on our shoulders, all the time and we love it so much!
Some things you say:
- "Love you"
- "All done"
- "Yum, yum, yum"
- "Ohhh" (uh-oh)
People often say that the second child progresses quickly because she is trying to keep up with the first. I can already see it happening as you shadow Henry and surprise me almost daily with one more thing you know. I am trying to savor every last cuddle because I know it just isn't going to last. But I am also enjoying every new word and trick because it is...you are...such a delight.
Happy 1st birthday, Maira. You are my favorite little girl in the whole wide world, and I love you more than words.
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This is the fifth in a series of letters to my daughter, Maira. I also wrote letters to my son Henry almost every month for the first year of his life. You can read previous ones here, here, and here.