You're one-year old. Holy crap.
(How eloquent of me, no?)
How do I put in words what this past year has meant to me? How do I let you know how special you are - in mere words?
Well. I'll try, anyway.
Last weekend, your grandma and I went to go see the musical "The Secret Garden" at a theatre in the city. Because it was a children's story, there were lots of moms and dads and their little kids with them. Very cute.
At the end of the row we were sitting in were two little boys. Brothers. Maybe about 6-years old. They looked like they could be twins. It was kind of hard to tell, however, because one of the little boys had a developmental challenge.
It could have been cerebral palsy. I'm not 100% sure. All I know for sure is that he was in a wheelchair. And his parents were very attentive. They watched him closely as he took a sip of his drink. They helped him with his hearing aid when the music started and seemed a bit too loud for him.
At one point, near the end of the play, something sort of exciting happened on stage. And when everything went silent, an excited "whoa!" came calling from beside us. Everyone nearby turned to see the little boy, curled into his mom's lap, watching the play intently. We all let out a happy, delighted laugh. Then went back to watching the rest of the play.
But when it ended, I couldn't help but want to look over at him again. So I did. And I saw the little boy smiling. Smiling broadly. His whole body kind of shaking with what I assumed was excitement.
He was so happy.
And I just started crying and crying.
I was crying because I wasn't sure at first how aware he was of everything around him... but he was obviously aware. And what he saw made him so very happy.
I was crying because his parents brought him there. He cuddled into their laps and watched the play. They rubbed the back of his head with his fuzzy, little-boy hair. And they made him incredibly, incredibly happy that day.
He was so clearly and undeniably loved.
And it made me think of you, Anna. Of how undeniable my love is for you. How happy you make me. How, when I think of everything you've brought into my life, all I can think of is absolute love and joy.
That's why I was crying.
I hope that you're always proud of your parents, Anna. I hope you always feel adored and self-confident. I hope your life is happy. Your childhood is happy. I hope you learn from your dad and I what love is all about.
And, more than anything, I hope that you will one day be lucky enough to feel like that little boy felt. To see the world the way he saw it.
Happy birthday, my little love.
I love you. Today, tomorrow and always.