I’ve been struggling with what to write about for Avery’s first birthday. Do I go the mushy route and say cliche things like, I never knew I could love one person so much. That when I look at that tiny little human my heart aches because she is this perfect creature that is half me, and half my wonderful husband. That I never knew I would be so excited about the smallest milestones like when she first lifted her head, or rolled over from her back to her front.
Do I go to the dark side and talk about how this last year has been the toughest, hardest year of my life. That I’ve spent sleepless nights singing twinkle twinkle little star while bouncing on an exercise ball trying to make her fall asleep. Some days I probably cried just as much (or maybe more) than her because I just couldn’t figure out why she was always so upset.
Of course there is always the gross tales of how much ‘stuff’ comes out of such a little creature. Every single doctors visit Avery has managed to pee on me, the doctor, and some piece of expensive equipment. Dinner discussions with my husband have gone from planning out our summer vacation, to ‘well Avery peed down our floor vent today…’
The first birthday is a pretty big occasion. Maybe not for my baby who is quickly transitioning into a toddler, but as a parent this marks the fact that I have now kept a human alive for a year.
I have politely listened to all of the unsolicited advice from every friend, family member, and stranger in the grocery store. Here is a snapshot of the advice I have been given over the past year:
Let your baby cry to calm herself/Don’t let your baby cry or she will get brain damage/ /Don’t let her eat dairy, strawberries or peanuts/Make sure she eats anything and everything right away/Co-sleep for the first year/Never sleep with your baby/Don’t give her sugar/Let her try ice cream.
I’ve spent a year questioning every decision that I have made, and I have come to this conclusion; my husband and I have kept a little human alive and safe for a whole year (yes I am stressing that fact again) and she is a healthy, happy baby. Maybe she’s tried cat food once or twice, and yes she’s fallen and got some bumps, but she also gets back up every time with a big smile on her face (sometimes she needs a little cuddle first).
The fact is, thank you kind strangers for all of your opinions but I no longer need them. The first year was scary unknown territory, but year two…I got this! Our little team of three can handle whatever new adventures the next year throws at us, because at the end of the day I now have confidence in my husband and myself knowing that raising a kid is all about what feels right to us. Thank you friendly old man at Costco but I don’t really want to hear your top 10 tricks to raising a kid.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY miss Avery Georgia, this has been the scariest, most exciting, and fun year of my life. You are the weirdest (in a good way) little person on this planet, and have taught me more in the past year than I ever thought imaginable. And most important, cheers to my partner in crime, we got this babe! You are the only person that I would want to be on this crazy adventure with!
I love you both to the moon and back. XO