Yesterday my daughter turned one and I am clearly doing the classic mom thing and being totally nostalgic. This year has taught me so many things. It's been life changing. I wrote her this letter and I wanted to share it here with all of you.
To my dear baby Zo Zo,
Today is your birthday, and while I can not believe it's actually been a year, I also feel like so much has happened that I already can't imagine life without you in it. On this day last year I thought I knew what to expect. I knew I would be dealing with diapers, consoling you when you cried, melting when you laughed and loving you unconditionally. What I didn't know was how much being your mom would fill my heart. I was not prepared for the overwhelming emotions that would take place every day. There is nothing more incredible than watching you smile or laugh at something so purely and honestly. Your spirit is so sweet, kind, spunky and hysterical. You have a sense of humor already and I can see you are going to be quite the jokester. I love how proud you are of yourself when you accomplish something new. And you should be! It's hard work learning how to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, eat real food etc... You are doing a great job at taking it all with stride. That's why we nick named you "the bulldozer baby". You will fall down hard and just keep on moving. In fact, whenever I expect you to cry, you prove how strong you are and keep on, keepin on. It's when everything is honky dory that you cry and it gets me every time. Well.... not every time. Sometimes you really are being dramatic. But if that's how you need to communicate with me, do what you will. I'll just keep on reminding you that I understand you and hope the phase will pass quickly. Because me and you, we have a very special bond. And even on days when you just wanna be cuddled and held all day and exploring the world seems like too much, I am here for you. On the days where you don't want me to hold you at all, and experiencing new things is all you want to do, I am here for you. On the days that you are teething and upset about it, I am here. And on the days where we are rolling on the floor cracking up at the ceiling fan, I'm here. Doing it all with you. Experiencing life through your eyes. Enjoying life in a new way, in my new role. Because on this day last year, not only were you born, but I was reborn. Becoming a mom has created a new Melanie. And it's something that I am figuring out on the day to day as well. The same way you are learning to talk and walk, I am learning to let you figure it out on your own, how to feed you a balanced meal that you can chew, how to teach you when you can't understand my words and how to love. This mom thing is going to be an ever growing and changing role. I am ready to love you in whatever way you need. And speaking of love, there are a few things I would like you to learn from me.
1) You are amazing and should love yourself unconditionally. Always love your body, mind, and whole self. This may seem self explanatory, but I don't think it is stressed enough in our society to be gracious and appreciative of our body. And if we love ourselves, we eat healthy, are able to love other people and are confident in our choices. These are all easier said than done, so I am hoping to instil this in you from a young age.
2) Please don't always kiss people the way you kiss your puppy Lola. Why I know it's adorable now, opening your mouth so that she can lick inside it is not really an appropriate form of affection for every animal and human you meet later on in life.
3) Whoever you end up dating, please make sure they respect you and your parents. Anyone who doesn't think this is important isn't worth your time.
4) Keg parties are really overrated and you should never attend one ever in your life.
5) When you are old enough, I'll show you old episodes of Saved By The Bell so you can see why mom likes side ponytails so much. This may not be as important as respecting yourself, but you should know where your mom came from. And she came from a magical land called "The Max" where everyone wore neon scrunchies and used something called "car phones".
6) Choose your friends wisely. While this is easy now, there will be times in your life where you will feel pressure to act a certain way to make friends. Don't succumb to it. You are seriously awesome and your friends will be lucky to have you.
7) Sometimes, if you are feeling like you need to get in touch with your femininity, a new bra, a fabulous pair of shoes and bright lipstick is the only cure. Please don't pay any attention to this until you are 16.
8) Always have an appreciation for the arts. You are already a mover and a shaker and love to make art with your tomato sauce. Hopefully, with my help you will appreciate art in lots of ways that go beyond itsy bitsy spider. Here's hoping.
9) A day without laughter is a day wasted. So laugh often. But not at people when they fall. That will definitely piss someone off.
10) Please, whatever happens... let your dad teach you how to drive. And park. And how parking tickets work. I am wonderful at many things and anything involving cars should just be handled by someone else.
And because this baby is the most photographed human on the planet, and I have a real problem narrowing down, I thought I'd share some of my most loved photos (in no particular order) with you as well. If you want to see waaaay more Zoe pics check out my Instagram @mrsklugs. As much as I try to contain my Zoe picture posting, I'm pretty sure my version of restraint is posting at least one adorable Zoe photo a day. Someone should probably email me the Wikipedia definition of restraint. Anyway, here are some (and by some I mean a LOT) of my favs of my favorite gal.
Next week we return to our regularly scheduled programming. This blog is going to be going through some changes in the next few weeks so holler at me and let me know what you are enjoying and what you'd like to see more of. Can't wait!