All week long your siblings have been anticipating your birthday and this morning one of your brothers woke up saying, “Mom! Today Tehillah is one!” This is just one tiny reflection of the adoration that is felt for you by every member of this household.
The 10.5 months leading up to your birth were a roller coaster. There were many health concerns ranging from me getting hit in the stomach with a swing to having COVID just a month and half before you were born. And your birth itself was not easy and took some time for me to process before moving on. All of this drifts through my mind as I look at you today on your birthday. And then I remember even more.
Gazing at you for the very first time and instantly knowing you were a girl; discovering you were born en caul (what a miracle for me!); relishing how we could already communicate with you during those first hours and days after birth because you studied our faces so closely; taking those days, weeks and months slowly because I finally grasped how rapidly they pass; not feeling guilty for snuggling with you in bed during those late night and early morning hours – right up until…well…I haven’t stopped, actually.
And then there’s that timeless process of growing acquainted with a brand new soul: observing you as you observe the world. I have savored everything from your first time seeing bubbles to the development of your unique interactions with each older sibling to learning that you don’t like to sit in grass to finding out that you prefer food with spice over bland food. You explore your surroundings with your fingertips and the tip of your tongue; so much so that your hands’ resting position is pointer fingertip touching thumb fingertip. Your presence has proven to me that no baby is a rote experience- even the seventh one in seven years.
Every time you snuggle your head into Poppa’s shoulder in your special way or shine your brightest smile at me and lift your arms to be picked up or sing and babble while you play with your little basket of toys or I am still able to slip your tiny feet into size 3-6 months shoes, I give God the highest praise for keeping His plan for our family filled with His wise surprises. These past 365 days with you in our family have been lovely.