Today my baby girl turns 1. It's hard to believe. A year ago she could only see shadows, she couldn't hold up her head or straighten her limbs, she didn't know how to smile or giggle, she had those strange black newborn poops. Now she cruises all over the house, laughs when tickled, picks books off the shelf and brings them to me, and screams in protest when something is taken away from her. She's the worst napper ever and still has no real interest in solids. She's one of the most social creatures I've ever seen. She flirts with old ladies, small children, burly men covered in tattoos, entire families of tourists, and old drunks. She doesn't last more than a half hour in a car, but can go hours on the subway and bus. She kicks all the time - in the stroller, while having a diaper changed, in the tub, when happy, and when frustrated and angry. She loves a good strong breeze in her face and in her hair, which she has in abundance, and I still can't bring myself to cut. She lights up when her dadda enters a room and adores the very sound of her kitty walking down our old creaky stairs.
Today I've been a mom for a whole year. I've learned to roll with the punches more, not care if chores don't get done as planned, and take advantage of odd momenta to play and go for walks. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I get to see every little thing as it unfolds, like when she spent a week very deliberately practicing holding two things in one hand. We make our own schedules and get to take our lunch outside whenever we please. I love seeing my husband be a dad, and my daughter lighting up when her dad comes home at the end of each day. I'm more tired than I would like, especially since I'm currently pregnant again, but I'm also happier than I've ever been.