People tell you all the time about the joy of being a mother. But really you can't know it until you've experienced it. Harper, you represent sheer joy and love in my life. I love picking you up from daycare and seeing your beautiful face back close to mine. I love rocking you to sleep every night and watching your sweet eyes melt into the darkness. I love hearing you wake up in your crib and listening to you "talk" until I come and pick you up. I love reading books with you each night and playing with Lennon in the mornings. I love being your mom.
I didn't really know what it would like to be a mom. Would I be able to really love you? Care for you? Help you? How would I continue to work and at the same time add the duties of motherhood? But we've learned together. We've grown and changed and you've shaped me in ways you will never know. You have taught me how to love someone with unconditional love and tenderness. You've taught me the importance of living in the moment (not that I'm always good at it) and savoring each sweet bit of life that I can. You remind me of the importance of laughter and play, the silliness of Lennon, and the joy it is to be alive! I love the way you look at your dad and the way you say "dada" when you see him. I love it when he makes you laugh so hard you are practically crying. I love your beautiful hair--have loved it from the moment I laid eyes on you--and love it even more now that it's outgrown it's tendency to stand straight up. It's your trademark :) I love shopping for your adorable clothes and putting bows in your hair. I love when you pull up to standing while holding on to my fingers--so proud of yourself. I love the way you eat--making such a big ole mess (especially when it's black beans). I love your independence. I love your tenderness--the way you hug your dolls and toys--the way you care about other babies and adults and animals. You are a gift!
In the last week you've learned to hug. And right now what I love most is the way that you wrap your arms tightly around my neck and arms and squeeze tight. I never want to forget these moments.
What a year! Thank you for teaching me, for loving me, for helping me to push my limits, to stretch my compassion and understanding, and for so much more. I can't wait for what is still to come!