My star was born.

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Dear Tessie,

It's almost 2 a.m. and I’m feeling so many different things because you’re turning 1 tomorrow. Instead of telling you about my mixed emotions, I want to tell you all about you and who you are at 1 year old…

You are so special. I know I'm biased, but there's no one like you. Since the day you were born, you were full of life. You were already a person! When you're happy, everyone knows and when you're upset, you certainly make sure everyone knows. I hope you can always hold onto being yourself no matter whose around. I also hope that you can always feel however you feel without shame. 

You've always been so determined. Initially, you were determined to stay in my belly, then you were determined to get the f+ck out of the NICU, making even the most seasoned nurses say to me "some babies are just challenging." You held your head up very very early, ready and determined to meet the world. 

You're sometimes shy, especially around new people. You never immediately go to someone new and it takes you awhile to get comfortable with someone you don't know. This makes so much sense to me and I make sure to honor that about you. Even if it makes certain people offended, I don't want you to ever have to sacrifice your comfort for the sake of someone else. 

You're curious, and I make sure to let you explore your curiosity. Some people may think I let you explore a little bit too much but I know that curiosity is something that should be fostered. Curiosity is what will make you ask a million questions one day and what will drive you to want to learn and discover. Curiosity is something that is rare and often fades with age. I want nothing more than for you to hold onto your curiosity.  I could watch you play forever. You're focused, engaged, resourceful and you amaze me every single day.

You're so observant. I'll never "sneak out" without saying bye. From the start, you were very attached to me, or I guess I could say we were always very attached to eachother. It was sometimes really hard to leave you. Now, even though you don't like to see me go, I know that you have overcome something huge when you wave goodbye as I leave each day.  I could say it a thousand more times, but I am just so proud of you. 

I see you take on challenges without looking to me to rescue you. It may be small things like trying to turn the stuck page of a book, or pick up a tiny piece of food that just keeps slipping out of your fingers. Not only do you not look to me to help you, but if I try to, you shoo me away and sometimes even growl at me. Stay sassy Tess. 

I can’t help but think back to 1 year ago, that what I really was in for, was the answer to all of the moments that I didn’t know why it was so hard to get pregnant. 1 year ago, even though I couldn’t calm you down if my life depended on it, my star was born. You made all the stars align. You were always meant to be.

I love you birthday girl. 

Ma