You are one years old. I'm late with my letter to you, but I place blame squarely on you. I mean, you are the one that pressed the fast forward button, didn't you? It really is going by so fast though I know that once it felt so slow. The first week of your life passed by exquisitely slow as we sat in hospital beds watching you lay helpless and blindfolded under bright lights wondering when this would end. Some wave off this week by saying jaundice is common. It is. But your levels were not common, and your week-long hospitalization, that wasn't common either. It was hard. Even now, with the distance of time, when I think back to those days, my eyes well with tears. It was a glimpse into the pain of parents who care for children with chronic illness day in and day out. As an attorney I visited these parents at hospital bedsides. I thought I could empathise, but it wasn't until I lived a brief moment in time of that life that I understood the unique way your child's pain shreds your soul into pieces. You are better now. It is this mother's fervent wish you always be so.
And life has moved on from that moment. Thankfully, things got better. And sleepless days aside you are, quite frankly, one of the greatest loves of my life.
And as I documented each month, you grew and changed and just like that, you turned one. For your birthday we fled cold, rainy, Atlanta for the sunny skies of Florida. We bought you a bouncy castle, strung your photos through the house...
And dressed you in your birthday best.
And despite intermittent rain and the sheer exhaustion of missing naps, you loved your special day. You bounced to your heart's content with your brother by your side.
And you sunk into the love that surrounded you. Like your cousins who drew hand-made decorations to honor your day, and your mamus who helped set everything up. There have been a few times I've overheard your Mamus sharing stories about you. Funny tales of how you giggled, or smiled, or squealed. Their words exude pride borne of love. You already know this, but I hope you never forget: love is the most beautiful thing there is. And you? You are surrounded by so much love its beauty can sometimes leave me speechless. It is not something everyone gets Musa. Always treasure it for the bountiful gift it is.
Speaking of love, you loved that cake. Month after month we marked your growth with cupcakes and month after month we denied you the consumption of the sweet confection. But when you laid eyes on your birthday cake? your eyes brightened. Your shrieked and pouted. You can't speak yet, but we knew: you really wanted that cake.
And finally, after 365 days of gracing us with the blessing of your being, there was cake.
And it was beautiful.
So here we are. You're one years old Musa. You've been in my life a brief moment in time, and yet I can't imagine how I ever lived life without you. As every mother, I pray for you. I pray you find your passion. Follow your dreams. And reach your potential. But my biggest prayer is for you to never lose sight of your joy, to always keep a semblance of this pure happy smile that belongs to this pure happy creature I love so very much. Despite all the exhaustion and challenges, you make me happier than I ever knew I could be. Happy First Birthday Musa. I love you truly, madly, deeply. I always will.