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Soon you will be one year older.

Like everyone says, “it happens so fast.” And boy are they right. I can still see you for the first time, in my arms all puffy and pink.

I can still see you in your father’s arms, and the glow on his face when he looked upon yours.

I can still see you sleeping at home. I can still see the you and I, you sleeping peacefully in my arms as I struggle to stay awake in that rocking chair, knowing that once I lay you down you will wake back up.

I can still see you fussing with your first teeth coming in, we could not settle you for long.

I can still see you giving up the pacifier.

Honestly I was trying to get you to take it so I could go back to sleep after you went back to sleep but you were like, “no my dude.” Never took it again.

The bottle weening, and then the sippy cup weening, the first steps, the dime incident—which was also the first emergency room visit. The second visit being the minor head wound.

FYI head wounds are bleeders. They’ll bleed like crazy and it’ll just be a scratch.

Potty training was THE WORST. Like, sometimes I can’t believe we all got through that relatively unscathed.

You are still my reason for living and still sometimes on my last nerve. You are amazing and smart and silly and ridiculous and frustrating and special and bonkers and wonderful.

You are the best thing to ever happen to me but I still don’t recommend parenthood because it is stressful and expensive and exhausting and the most amazing thing in the whole world.

I will never ever love another creature or thing on this earth like I love you, and the whole of my heart is yours. You above all else always.

I would kill a man (or woman, I do not discriminate based on gender) for you, within reason. Give me a good reason, to do it. This is by no means me admitting to murder.

If anyone ever hurts you they will experience the wrath of god by my own hand. There is no other Hell like a mother scorned. I’m not very strong but I’ll go down swinging!

This got really dark really fast lol

I want nothing but the best for you and I push you through your homework and trying because it’ll help you in the long run. And yes, I don’t let you eat constantly because it’s not good for you. I don’t want you to be like me. I don’t want you to be shaped like me. Is that bad? I often wonder if I’m being a bad mom because of that.

I want you to be happy. No matter what you choose to do in life, I want it to be something you love and that makes you happy.

But you cannot be a cash register—I mean cashier— it won’t make you happy trust me. Oh wait. Last time you said you wanted to be a scientist.

We are not rich, but we try really hard to give you everything you need and a little of what you want. And to be honest you get more than a little of what you want. You are and will always be our only child and we have a hard time not spoiling you, just a little.

Know, always, that no matter what, you are loved. You are loved my many. Loved beyond measure, loved without buts, conditions, or circumstances. You are loved with all of your flaws and imperfections, with all your mistakes and bad decisions.

You are loved with all my heart always.

Always always always always always.