I’ve been her mom for 365 days. I’ve been looking at her face, memorizing it daily, locking up all the unique nuances that make her so special for one year. When I close my eyes, I can see her perfectly. I hear her voice, the way she jabbers constantly. She sounds like a turkey half the time, and I know the words.
I know when she’s fussing at me, and when she’s just trying to communicate.
I know that she reserves her smiles for only those times when they are warranted and deserved. She won’t just give a smile away, and she’s endearing for it.
I know her laugh, the way it gets stuck in her throat and comes out a tangled mess of joy.
I know when she’s excited, the way her mouth forms a perfect ‘O’ and her feet kick in anticipation.
I know that she doesn’t care for most foods unless they are fruits. And cake, apparently.
I know that she prefers being awake to sleeping.
I know that she lights up when her big brother comes into the room. He’s her protector, I can already tell.
I know that she gives her sister knowing smiles, like they already share a secret to which the rest of us will never be privy.
I know that her other brother, the one who used to be baby until she came along, is her very favorite playmate.
I’ve learned a lot in 365 days. I’ve found that our family is better as a unit of six. I’ve found that I’m stronger and more capable than I thought as I managed this household with a traveling husband and no grandparents around to help out.
I’ve learned that I really prefer to have grandparents around to help.
I’ve learned that having a baby with older kids is quite lovely. Everyone should try it. *wink*
And above all that I’ve found in these 365 days that I just cannot imagine life without her.
Today we celebrate Annika, and the joy that it is to calls her ours.