Dear Hayden Kate,
You’re first birthday has come and gone and so now I have a chance to look back on the last year as a whole. It’s quite amazing to me all of the growing and developing that little ones do within their first year of life. We’ve gone from sleepless nights, around-the-clock nursing, and a barely-there schedule to almost walking, constant babbling, and lots of falling in love with you.
You are a JOY. You give the sweetest kisses when you hear keywords like “night night” and “bye bye”. Rather than the traditional puckered lips, you’ve gone with a different approach where you pull your bottom lip over your top one and give a little smirk. It’s hilarious and so cute.
You do everything with extreme authority. Your sounds, your movements, your play…everything is done all the way. You’re an all or nothing kind of girl. This might be a challenge for you as you grow up. You’ll need to learn how this stubborn personality God has given you can be used for His glory.
You are messy. You’re helping me learn that it’s ok if our house isn’t always put back together before company comes over. Life is messy and the people who matter most are the ones who love and embrace our mess. But if you ever decide to keep all of your food off the floor, I won’t argue with you. The folks at Target and other stores we frequent during snack time won’t argue either, I’m sure. (Sorry, Target.)
You are smart. Earlier this month, I observed you play with your shape sorter. You were so quiet, content, and focused on placing each shape into the right spot. In general, you love to place objects in baskets or containers. Somehow, this clean up skill should be combined with the mess problem noted above. All in good time.
You are on the move. You really want to be able to walk on your own, but aren’t quite there yet. You’ve taken a few steps here and there, but still prefer to crawl. While in Ohio to celebrate your birthday, you spent most of your waking hours holding someone’s hand so you could do laps around the house. You are quite proud of your ability to stand on your own, too!
You are loud! Along with saying “hi” and “bye” really well, you make all sorts of other noises. You grunt and yell all day long! We couldn’t imagine life without you and your crazy sounds!
You love to eat all day long. You have ten teeth and you love to use them to eat whatever everyone else is eating–the bigger, the better.
You are tenderhearted. As you embrace this phase of almost walking, you’re exploring ways to pull yourself up to balance. One of my favorites (although usually not well-timed or convenient) is when you hold onto our legs with both arms. We melt when you rest your head on our shoulder before nap time. We love these sweet moments with you.
You are a gift to us in many ways. You are teaching us how to love more deeply and extend grace more willingly. In your own little ways you’ve challenged and changed us over this past year.
We love you more than you know!
Love, Mama (& Daddy)