To My Daughter With Leukodystrophy on Your First Birthday

Dear Adelyn,

Oh baby girl, what a year we have had.

It’s the eve of your first birthday, and here we sit, ready to spend that special day in the hospital tomorrow, of all places.

I’ve got tears in my eyes, but they aren’t for the reasons you might think. I’m not feeling sad we’re in the hospital, and I’m not sad because of the challenges you have faced.

No, tonight I’m a mom like every other, and I believe these tears are a bit of a right of passage on first birthdays. My heart explodes with joy and the happy tears flow as I reflect on this past year and wonder how the time has gone by so fast.

Just 365 days ago I went to bed with you in my belly, knowing the next day I would hold you in my arms. Nervous anticipation and aching hips kept me awake while I knew I should sleep.

Poor me, I had no idea what was coming.

I had no idea how your fingers would feel curled around mine.

I had no idea how precious it would be to cuddle your warmth in the night, just the two of us, during your night feedings.

How you would play with your hair to soothe yourself.

How you would belly laugh at our silly voices.

How you would calm to any song and try to sing along.

How you would love the feel of your hands on daddy’s hair.

Or the way you would smile up at me with big wide eyes like I was your world.

I didn’t know you would be such a hard working baby, never giving up in your effort to reach new milestones.

I didn’t know you would look so cute while sucking your sweet little thumb.

Or how it would feel when you bury your head in my shoulder for comfort that only your mommy can give.

I had no idea how big my heart could swell.

I had no idea how the love of our whole big tribe would grow for you.

Yes, poor me.

I didn’t know you yet.

This has been the best year of my life.

Happy birthday, baby. I love you so much, and I can only imagine what I will come to learn and love about you in the next year.

You are beautiful. You are perfect.


This post was originally published on Let’s Make a Little Deal.

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Getty Images photo via Nadezhda1906

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