A Letter to Noah: On Your First Birthday
Watching Noah embark on life is beyond amazing, a phenomenon that a parent is lucky enough to experience. Since falling pregnant with Noah, I have developed a passion for capturing his life and making these special moments last; to not only one-day gift him a special keepsake, but also because memory keeping helps me live more thoughtfully. Looking backwards and reflecting inspires me to look forward thoughtfully and purposefully.
One of my hopes is for our children to receive a letter from both their parents every year on their birthdays. It doesn't have to be long, but it has to come from the heart. We each wrote Noah a letter a year ago, on his first birthday. Today I am sharing this letter with you. I wanted it to express some of my hopes, wishes and dreams for the little bear, but more importantly, I wanted it to reflect the love, life, joy and wonder I feel for this child. I am in the process of writing the letter for his second birthday, which is today!
I know that this is a rather personal post but given that I am on the constant lookout for inspiration, especially in areas of motherhood, I was hoping my personal words to our little one could inspire some of you to take the time to do the same. And there is no harm in sharing some pictures from Noah's cake-smash-for-breakfast event and his travel-themed and beach-located birthday party...even if this all took place a year ago!
21st January, 2015
A little love letter to my dearest first born on his first birthday.
It's hard to describe the magic, joy and wonder you have brought to our lives. One whole year has passed since we were gifted with your presence in this world and it's been the most magical of years.
I never once questioned my ability as a mother but in a way, you made it so simple for me. Fiercely independent from the beginning, you led me. It felt effortless. You took your place so naturally, that it is hard to remember life without you in it. Motherhood – for me it was like entering a foreign land but landing right at home. This year has felt both long and short; long only in that we did and saw a lot and short, just way too short.
Little bear. You have been the best addition to our lives. As husband and wife we thought we knew unconditional love but it wasn't until you were placed in our arms that we truly understood its limitless meaning. Thank you for that, for making us a little family and for so much more. You have brought more love, more laughter and more emotion into our lives than we could have ever imagined. And our love just keeps growing! You have made our life so much more colourful and purposeful. When we get to see the world around us through your eyes, it’s beautiful and good and inspiring. It has done wonders for my soul.
Even before you were born, Noah, your paps and I always wished the best for you. That you inherit the best of both of us and that the world gives you nothing but the best of everything that it has to offer. You've most certainly inherited your papa’s cute lips. It's often the first thing that people notice about you, after your dark blue eyes of course. You've inherited both of our strong wills although some may mistake this trait for stubbornness. Regardless, you know what you want and with determination and dedication, you go after it.
I love that you are so fearless, inquisitive and compassionate. So much of this you are innately born with, which is amazing to see. As your mother, I hope to foster curiosity and a joy for learning. I hope to give you that feeling of safety and comfort in order for your confidence to flourish. I don’t care who you want to be when you grow up, I just hope you live your life with purpose. Be bold, take risks, follow your heart and know that learn from your journeys is ok, no matter what the outcome may be. The path is not always obvious. That’s the torturous part of the learning. Lean into the unknowing and trust yourself to figure it out. You will. The world needs you to become who you were meant to be.
Speaking of journeys. This year has literally been a journey across not one, not two, but FIVE continents. Five! You have seen more of the world than many people will only ever dream of. And although I know you won’t remember this time, it is most certainly shaping you into our very own little happy adventurer. After nearly every one of your twenty-eight flights this year, we got at least one comment on how good of a baby you were – ‘so calm, so content…I didn’t here a peep’…
You are a happy and content child that is excited to explore its world. You are patient, calm, gentle, understanding yet so confident and independent. Infinitely curious and very cheeky at times in the best of ways. You are so loving, cuddly and affectionate. You are such a beautiful little soul, Noah, and I have never been so proud of anything in my life. You are my greatest achievement and my greatest gift and I am forever grateful.
You are presently at a stage where I wish I could freeze time. It is the most fun stage of all, though I'm sure I'll say that about each subsequent one. You are so affectionate and giggly - and your giggle is more like a cackle. You are flirtatious and hilarious, spirited, silly and smart. Sometimes, when we're looking at each other laughing, I also feel the urge to cry, because you must be too good to be true. I never want any of this to end. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and here we are at the end of your first year. A year in which I've learned that I'm more patient than I thought I was, you are more perfect than I thought possible, and sleep... well, sleep is for the weak.
A current phase of yours (some may call it a phase of sleep training-regression ;)) is that you want to fall asleep on top of your mama for nap times during the day, as well as the early hours of the morning after I grab you out of your own bed and bring you to ours. You have just turned one and since I know this certainly wont last forever, I am enjoying the closeness, the cuddles and soaking it all up. Feeling your warm, chubby body melt into my arms, I know that I mean ultimate comfort to you, and I never want you to lose that. I stroke your fluffy head and smell your hot, sweet breath - which I know you'll think is a creepy image when you're old enough to read this, but I can't help it; everything about you is lovable. Your skin is actually edible. I take in your scrumptious potbelly, your rubber-band rolls, and your soft neck. Your button nose, plump fingers and toes, your pincushion cheeks and beautiful round eyes. And that strawberry blonde hair, which is heaven. I am overcome. To me you are perfection.
Watching you wander around with your signature walking style, hearing you softly murmur away as you play in your own little world or squeak with laughter at the most random of things, being the recipient of your sweet, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses/head butts - I never want to miss out on a single part of you. I've always been more articulate on paper than I am in person, and I need you to know, Noah, exactly what you mean to me.
You mean everything. And that will never change. No matter what our lives become, my love will always be the place that you can call home. Let it be the foundation that gives you the confidence to live your life joyfully with purpose.
I love you so so very much.