Me again. Today is your first birthday and before I go off to bed I feel compelled to write to you once more.
It’s been a quiet day, namely because we decided to celebrate your birthday in a rather unorthodox fashion. Last night, we gathered all of our friends and family and had an Adults Only birthday celebration for you. You were dressed in a beautiful pink dress and as you greeted guests with a beautiful smile, I poured them gin. We then poured wine…and champagne….and then there were jelly shots. When you look back when you’re a little bit older and wonder why there were fifty drunk adults at a 1st birthday, I’ll tell it to you straight, as I’ve always promised to do.
You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. You have brought me a sense of pride that I have never before felt. Together we experience a love that I have never before really understood. But lovely Bella, the last year quite simply brought out the best and took the best from me. As I have said before, motherhood came as quite the shock and in an effort to never let you sense my unease, I’ve worked extra hard to be a good mother to you. As much as you have been growing and developing and learning to read me and the world around you, my adventure into motherhood has also been unfolding. I will happily hand out gold medals for all those mothers who have found it a little easier; I’m happy to raise my hand and collect a bronze on this one.
If I have done a good job, you probably won’t have any memory of this time at all. The perfume I wear today may trigger a feeling in years to come and I can only hope it will be a good one. You won’t remember the past year Bella but I will remember this time for the rest of my life. Those delicious tiny toes, the nape of your neck, the way your rock back and forth to music, your hysterical laughter at bath time.
But I will also remember that you have singlehandedly changed me; made me mother. So yes, you have grown but I have had to stop still years into my life and accept change, become stronger and mother you.
It’s for this reason that parents the world over cry with relief when their child turns one. It marks a celebration of love and transformation. It’s about accepting change and understanding that a life with a baby can be so much fuller if you just give into the rhythm of it. It was only fitting then that we throw a party for us as well Bella! We had a beautiful night with beautiful food and flowing drinks! Our friends stood around our pink Christmas tree themed just for you and we made a toast and sang you Happy Birthday before you were whisked away for an overnight stay with your Nani.
There will be plenty of years for your party antics. I promise to throw you a great sweet sixteen but last night was for us. I can assure you that every other day is yours.
Happy Birthday my darling. My only wish for us is that we can celebrate your birthday together until I am very old and very grey.
(Accounting for the few years in between when you’ll be way too cool to hang out with me!!).