The last first birthday celebration is coming soon.
One is big.
It’s a celebration of having survived so many sleepless nights. It marks having made it through a whole slew of firsts – first cry, first smile, first roll, first laugh, first crawl, first foods, first cold, first hug, first “No.”
In some ways, making it to one is a relief. It’s graduating to stage two. Walking, talking, playing! We made it through baby. We survived.
It’s a rude awakening; deciding to grow our family meant so much more than having a baby; it’s adding a full human to the world. Being responsible for guiding them through tantrums, kindergarten, teenage years, dating, bad hair days, college applications, and so much more. This baby doesn’t keep.
This one is bittersweet. As I pack away the baby swing, bag up those nine-month onesies, I murmur to myself, Oh how I’ve loved each of my babies so. Even in the most sleep-deprived trenches of baby, I have loved it. They have been the most sacred of gifts, the most magical of miracles. Nothing I expected. So much more challenging than I ever bargained for. Sweeter than I could have even dreamed. Intoxicated with love for these ones, right from that first whiff of new baby smell. I know, I will miss this moment. These memories are the riches of my life. I will forever be thankful. I am blessed.
As we prepare to celebrate my daughter’s first year of life, I gasp wondering what has happened to this year. Memories of one year ago, pleading for my body to go ahead and deliver my gift. Make me wait no more. Convinced she may stay in forever. Yet, here we are, already one year later!
I reflect on how I survived. I made it through the pain of labor, one last time. I pushed myself past all my limits and delivered life, by God’s grace. I met my girl. I still can’t believe God gave me a girl, a daughter to call my own.
I marvel at how I could have doubted. How did I wonder if the journey was worthwhile? Why did I fear? God has been good. The reward has been sweet.
I look ahead, knowing good is yet to come. What endless stories will you tell? What game will be your favorite to play? Which toy will win your affection? Which food will bring a smile to your face? Which stores will you request to frequent? Which book will unlock magic in your mind? So much yet to discover! So many gifts ahead.
Happy first, my girl.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She creates devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, contributes to a couples’ devotional for Crosswalk, and is a regular contributor for the marriage, family, homeschool parenting channels on Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda at rvahouseofjoy.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.