Monday, June 17, 2013

Published 8:16 AM by with 2 comments

Happy First Birthday

My dear Harmony,

My Bug. My little girl. My Tiny. My Mininsky (your Russian mafia nickname). My Bum Diddly Bum Bum (your silly name). My daughter.

You are so full of personality that even those multiple titles can't contain the energy, moods, quirks, and bubbling life that make up your character. You are like a flower blooming; every day another petal opens as something new is discovered and you continue to grow into a beautiful person.

One year ago I was sitting on the floor of the living room eating breakfast, wondering if you were ever going to come out! I had just decided on plans for the day when suddenly the contractions began. Within a few minutes, I knew that today was THE day: your birth day. Later that afternoon, you joined us earthside in the peace and joy of our own home, helped by the midwife, your ecstatic dad, and your loving grandma.

I've given up two things over the past year: trying to predict what you'll do next, and trying to decide what you'll be like. You said your first word at five months old, "hi", caught on video. Your vocabulary continues steadily along, with "what's this" being your favorite phrase. You took your time crawling, but it wasn't long before you were pulling up onto furniture, standing, and holding our hands to toddle along. By ten months you took your first steps alone. You almost look too small to walk around on your own!

Nature, being outside, is your absolute favorite thing in the world. Trees must be patted, flowers examined, paths explored, dirt dug. You like cars in general, license plates in particular. When we go on walks through the apartment neighborhood, you like to stop at each car to examine the license plate and experimentally tug at each one, just to see if it will budge. Perhaps this is a fad that will fade with time, but who knows! You love music, especially guitars, and enjoy playing the little toy piano, wooden xylophone, and lovely handbells in our ever-growing instrument collection. "Mary Poppins" is your favorite movie, because of all the singing and dancing; the musical "Pirates of Penzance" is a close second. Lately you have begun a kind of sing-song warble, sometimes wordless, rising and falling through different notes, and sometimes with the happy trill "tokka-tokka-tokka-tokka-tokaaaaaaaaa"! Strangers say, "what a little singer!" and you smile. Another fad? Hmmmm. 

You are teaching me how to respect you as an individual, even though you are young. You are teaching me patience, because the consequences of losing my temper are not worth damaging our relationship. We are teaching each other about unconditional love, because when we make mistakes, we can give each other grace to forgive, grow, and change for the better.

Your Daddy and I are learning what it means to set boundaries, to keep you safe, yet giving as much freedom as possible, to say "yes" more than "no", to be firm when it truly matters and let you explore and express when it doesn't. We tell you about the world, we read to you, we take you to concerts, we sing and dance and tell stories, we talk to you about God, we pray, we cook together, we take you outside, we let you go barefoot, we listen to you snore softly as you sleep. We are blessed to be parents, even when we have no idea what to do next. This is a learning process for all of us.

It's been a blessed twelve months together, my dear. I'm so excited to find out more of who you are this next year! 


Your Mama

This is the first Birthday Letter for Harmony, which will be printed and saved for her in a special treasure box. Her birthday is technically on the 19th, but we had her party this weekend with family from out of town, so I wrote her letter early too!



mountain girl said...

Happy Birthday, sweet Harmony!

Lauren Kirkwood said...

this is so precious. she'll treasure it forever.