This is certainly not the first “letter to my daughter” floating around on the Internet, but it is the first from me to you – so let that uniqueness mark it.
Today, you are one year old.
One, glorious year old.
It’s been three-hundred and sixty-five days since you burst into our lives with all the fierceness and passion your little personality holds.
It’s been a year since your Dad and I became parents. Bumbling and clumsy, but trying and praying-our-guts out parents.
had have no idea what we’re doing.
On that note, I do owe you an apology. I’m sorry for all those clumsy things we’ve done this past year. You’ve never been a Carson before, we’ve never been a Mom or a Dad before. Sorry for that one time we let you fall off the bed…and the couch…and then the bed again. Okay, sorry for those three times. Sorry for being so attached to nursing you I was afraid to let you try solids. Sorry for not making you homemade baby food like I said I would on Pinterest. Sorry not sorry for co-sleeping out of exhaustion (we actually really adore those bed-sharing snuggles.) Sorry for being slow to realize you’re growing up on us, slow to catch up to your transitions and new tricks.
There is no such thing as Parenting 101. Well, I suppose there is: your firstborn child. And that’s you, Peach. Thanks for bearing the brunt.
It hasn’t been an awful year though, has it? We’ve had some really fun times, our little family. Those walks around our neighborhood. The playdates. The holidays. The family trips. The quiet, ordinary days when my heart would near-burst over the sheer joy of being your mom. It’s been quite a lovely year.
But I’m not writing this letter in a nostalgic haze. I remember the trenches. I remember the fear that comes with finding yourself and a newborn alone in the house, knowing I was the one responsible to meet all of your needs. I remember countless nights of sitting on a running dryer, rocking back hand forth, and begging you to go to sleep. I remember holding you, sobbing because breastfeeding you hurt so bad. I remember those times when I had to put you in your crib and walk away, protecting you from the ugliness in my heart. I remember those nights when neither of us were sure of why the other was screaming.
On your first birthday I am tempted to forget all of those awful moments. But I am sure the sweetness of your first year would be lessened without remembering God’s amazing grace at work in my life and in yours. Carson, you need to know that God saves messy people. He makes it His business. God saved your mom years ago, and I pray earnestly that He will save you one day. God takes care of us, He doesn’t leave us in the mess.
When I tell you about this year, I want you to taste and see that the Lord is good – as I have done. You’ll need to know that we, your Dad and I, are incapable of parenting you well apart from the love of Christ. I want you to know how God has made my heart so tender towards you and, by His grace, makes it tender still. One of my greatest aspirations is to be a godly mommy to you, Carson. To make our home a place where you experience God’s love and grace all day long.
Today, we celebrate. We celebrate a year of you being you. You’re going to wear that adorable tutu Aunt Amanda made for you and eat cake and play with your friends and open presents. I want you to giggle until you fall over from laughing so hard. Then at night, I’m going to scoop you up and give you as many kisses as you’ll stand because you. are. my. daughter. You’re the best Carson Wilson there is. And I love you.
Happy Birthday, my darling girl.