Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Open Letter to My Daughter on the Occasion of Her First Birthday

Today is the first anniversary of the day of you and your brother’s birth; and so much has changed in a short 365 days, that I thought it might be appropriate to recap and perhaps glimpse to the future.

Normally a letter starts with a salutation, or at least a name; but you, dear daughter, have many names.

Before you much more than a couple of cells bumping around with your brother, the doctors were calling you Twin A. Your given name, Jorja, is a tribute to your maternal grandfather, whom who never met, but I can already tell you share his strength of character.

The name that everyone on the blog knows you by is The Squeaker because in the first few months, you squeaked a lot; but that hardly fits now, my little chatterbox.

At home, your mother calls you Peaches because the name peaches flows so easily after Jorja and because you are as sweet as; and when your mother and I talk about you via email, sms, IM, or text, we refer to you as BG, short for Baby Girl.

Your many names speak volumes about your first year of life.

You’ve gone from an infant that I could hold in one hand, feed with a one ounce bottle (three times a night) and had to be carried everywhere, to a big girl that that is feeding herself, sleeping through the night, pulling herself up, and learning the bare bones of a spoken language.

There have been some bad time too; the first two weeks of your life – a time that is normally spent sequestered at home, getting to know one another – was a blur of cars, hospitals, and people. And while the end result was sad, I think that it has made you stronger.

And you’ve had a couple of bouts with colds and the ilk that have been less than pleasant for all involved, but we’ve come through it a-okay.

You are a gregarious baby that does not withdraw from moments of newness; people always comment how wonderful you are, or well-behaved, or cute. People are drawn to you like a bee to honey.

This can be problematic as you get older, before you know how to navigate such waters. But just as I steer you away from the stereo controls or the computer wires, or the short step from the kitchen to the laundry room, I will always be available, in one way or another, to offer you guidance.

Until I met you and your brother, I did not know I could love so much. And every day that I see you, my love for you grows exponentially.

Happy Birthday, Squeaker.