A Letter to My Daughter on her First Birthday


Dearest Rooney,

I am in denial that today is your first birthday. How can it be possible that you’ve been earth side an entire year? In some ways it feels like you’ve always been here. I’ve spent the past week looking through photos and videos from our first days together while you sleep soundly in your crib through the night. I carried you for nine months and at the end you were a little too content in my belly. I should have known from day one how stubborn and determined you’d be to do things on your own terms. 

I wasn’t prepared for how your hiccups would  keep me awake during the early hours of the morning or how fiercely you’d crave independence while simultaneously needing me close-by every second of the day. 

There aren’t enough words to capture how much I love you or the way our lives will forever be intertwined. The weight of motherhood is a load I am privileged to carry. You’ve stretched my body, tested my nerves, and softened my heart. You made me a mom and instantaneously transformed me into a new person, one I am still getting to know every day. 

We did it! We made it through year one together, Rooney. We survived all those sleepless nights, skipped naps, feeding failures, teething tantrums, and blowouts. You learned to smile, laugh, hold your head up, crawl, climb, click your tongue, woof like your puppy dogs, and cruise around the furniture. You’ve taken your first steps but prefer the security of your limbs touching the ground. 

I hope I never forget the way you’ve always cried for me by my name, Mama, when you need me. Just like I have over the past three hundred and sixty-five days, I promise to always be there to catch you when you fall. I promise to encourage you to be your own person, to guide you when you make mistakes, to let you explore the world, and to apologize when I lose my temper. 

You are silly, personable, determined, active, curious, and resourceful. You are a light in my life. You are a precious gem. 

It was and will always be you, my little rosy girl.