Here I sit again. One year later. Wishing you a happy birthday. I should get used to this. You know... the part of you getting older, birthday celebrations... yearly letters. But I'm not. And I don't know if I ever will. And although we have been at this for two years, I still feel as though you are my baby that I just brought home from the hospital.
I remember that day like it was just yesterday. You were so perfect from the minute we saw you. We fell in love with every feature of yours, every sounds you made, every kick of the arm and leg, every coo and ahh. Even the way you slept with your little tush sticking out, with your ams at your side and your lips all puckered out. The way you cried. The way you would look at us. The way you fit so perfectly into our lives.
You have been at our side from day one. Never wanting to be far from us. Attached to our every move. Very stubborn and opinionated. Very independent yet needy. Never a dull moment. Keeping us on our toes. Making each and every day exciting, fun, and memorable.
I remember writing about how 'easy' of a baby you were. How I had no idea why anyone would ever complain. And then I saw other newborns. And one by one... your papa and I would say 'Wow. Our sweet E was never that quiet. Never that still. Never that content."
But we didn't know any better. Nor would we have wished any different. Because how you were, and how you are now, is absolute perfection in our eyes. We have loved every moment, milestone, and adventure with you in our lives. Not a day goes by that we aren't blessed by your pesence, your quirky personality, and your contagious smile. Not a day.
I think about the future and what lies ahead. I see you already changing. Your baby features slowly disappearing as you grow thinner, longer, and leaner. I see your personality unfolding. The way you want to make decisions. The way you think through things and the way you act during certain situations. The way....
I hate to say this... the way you are growing up... right before our eyes.
And here come the waterworks.
My sweet, precious, beautiful, daughter Elliana. I wish I could explain to you how badly I want to bottle you up and keep you right by my side just the way you are forever. How badly I wish I could freeze time and savor these sweet childhood memories. How much my heart desires for you to love me like you do now forever and ever.
In your eyes, right now, I am everything. The way you need me. The way you call for me. The way you wrap your arms around me late at night, hold me, and tell me that you love me. Oh, Elliana, if you only knew what you do to me. How you make my heart feel. The way you have changed our lives.
I know they say that you can't possibly describe unconditional love for a child until you become a parent, and here I sit and those words couldn't be more true. There are not enough words, not enough descriptions, not enough ways for me to sit here and try to illustrate the enormous amount of love that your papa and I have for you. The kind of love that one could only dream of. The kind of love that makes us appreciate life on a whole different level.
Our lives have never been the same since you came into this world, and we are two very lucky people to be able to say that you are our daughter and we are your parents.
Thank you Elliana for making us the happiest people on earth. For your smiles. For your giggles. For the sweetest hugs and warmest kisses. The snuggles. The constant entertainment. The late night chats. The never ending memories.
We look forward to the many years ahead of us, and we hope you always remember just how special you truly are to us baby girl.
'You are so beautiful, you are so smart, you are so special, we love you with all of our hearts."
Love you to the moon and back, infinity and beyond, over and over again,
Mama and Papa.