It’s so hard to believe that you are already one year old. It feels like just yesterday you and I were wheeled out of the hospital together. You were so small and I was so blissfully happy to finally have met you. Time has flown by the past 365 days, even as I wished for it to slow down. You have brought such incredible joy to our lives during your first revolution around the sun. Being your mama is an honor and a privilege and I hope that I can always do right by you.
One thing’s for sure: I will spend the rest of my life trying.
Now that you are a toddler, your personality is really beginning to shine. You are funny and sweet and brave and determined. You make people smile everywhere we go. I cannot tell you how many lives you have touched. Even on a simple trip to the grocery store, you melt hearts, lift spirits, and give freely little blessings of happiness and laughter. Making Daddy (Daaaaaaaa) laugh is your favorite thing to do, along with growling and panting like the doggies, vacuuming on Mommy’s hip, taking clothes in and out of the washing machine (yes, you once LOVED to do chores), and crawling around in that adorably cute hybrid walk-crawl thing you do. You love to be outside. I mean, love it. You could watch the leaves blow in the breeze all day and be perfectly content. You are also smitten with books and cannot get enough of them. Your favorite book is called My Love for You. (pssst…it’s mine, too.) Every time you see that book you light up like a Christmas tree. It can pull you out of the crankiest of moods.
You and I just love spending time together–we savor our long walks in the park with your doggies, Gracie & Taylor, and love hanging out on the back porch and in the yard listening to the birds and the horses next door. You are fascinated with birds and point at every single one that flies by. When you need me, you yell “NaNaNa!” at the top of your lungs. That’s what you call me, and it’s music to my ears. Every morning, you spend an hour (sometimes two when you get up really early) playing with Daddy before he goes to work and I suspect that this is the highlight of his day. I believe it may be yours, too. The love between you two is something to behold. The love between the three of us is a force to be reckoned with.
You only had two teeth when you turned one–both on the bottom–but there is one on the top that is starting to poke through (ouch) and you are already (pretty) good at chewing food. Your favorite food is fruit–cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon–and we just discovered that you love chicken noodle soup like Mama, and ham and cheese like Dad. You refuse to eat peas, but most other things are fair game. It’s so fun watching you get better at picking up food with your sweet little fingers and trying to use a spoon. You try so hard at everything you do and eating is no exception. I have no doubt that you’ll be wielding your own utensils soon.
You don’t realize that our skin doesn’t match yet, but I know you probably will soon. And even though we have been together from the moment you were born, you had another family first, before you came into the world. I will tell you all about your adoption when you’re a little older, and I know that it will probably make you sad. You may have doubts and fears, but I want you to know that Dad and I are 100 percent your “real” family and that we would do anything for you. I also want you to know that you can talk to me about all or any of this at any time and I hope you will always feel like you can be completely honest with me. My feelings won’t be hurt if you need to cry. I will cry with you. Your first mother chose us to be your parents because she loved you so much. She knew that the three of us would make one happy family, and she was right. She is a strong, courageous woman and will always have a special place in our hearts.
We may be different in some ways, but we are the same in so many other ways. Like the fact that you and I are both Aries–our birthdays are only one week apart! I’m already noticing the similarities in our personalities. You’ll see – we’re a lot alike, buddy. You’re a lot like Daddy, too. Our hearts match and that is the important thing. We were brought together by love and devotion instead of blood and biology, and the way I see it, that’s even more special. We were brought together by something bigger, and you are, and always will be, a Ferguson through-and-through. You are the very heart of our little family. You have brought us joy beyond measure, and I count my blessings every day.
I have so many hopes and dreams for you, but the greatest is that you will be happy and always know how much you are loved. Your smile can move mountains and you can do anything, and be anything, you set your mind to (like that walking thing you’ve almost mastered). Your Dad and I will be here for you every step of the way–when you fall down, when you get up, when you fail, when you succeed, when your heart breaks, and when it soars. Happy birthday, my sweetest thing. Here’s to a hundred more.
I love you more than I ever thought possible.
p.s. eat your peas!