Dearest Hadley June,
I’ve spent the last week preparing for and hosting your first birthday party. As I caught up on your baby book and sifted through photographs I couldn’t believe how quickly the time has gone. Our Happy Hadley.
The weeks and months flew by... But the hours and the moments are something I treasured and held on to. We spent a lot of time together, you and I… nestled in my bed curled around each other, you playing at my feet as I worked, nursing in the darkest hours of the night as you twirled your hands through your hair or explored my face with your fingertips. I cheered for each milestone with renewed awe and pride. I found immense joy in watching you learn to play with your big sister, giggling even beneath her full body tackles.
I know you better than anyone else possibly could… your smell, what your cries mean, your needs and your wants and your dislikes. I know the taste of a kiss on your stork bite. And I know about the adorable beauty mark on your squishy bottom that I try to wipe away every day even though I’ve changed your diaper approximately 2,820 times and know full well that it isn’t going anywhere.
I spent many hours comforting you when you were sick or in pain... scared in the hospital, limp and confused after surgery, cranky with ear infections… and I wouldn’t take back one minute of it. Because even when I couldn’t make you well again, my arms made everything okay.
You are a Mama’s girl, no doubt. These days you fuss to be on my hip and you are always underfoot. I have to remind myself when it starts to feel stifling that these moments are fleeting… any day you will become independent and chasing sister will be much more fun than hanging out with Mama. So go ahead, cling to my leg and and chatter “Mamamamama” until I pick you up and snuggle you. If you don’t feel well tonight, cry out for me at 3am and I will come. I will hold you and I will make everything okay.
I will always make everything okay.