ALFIE TURNS ONE
Today, you are one year old.
One, glorious year old.
It’s been three-hundred and sixty-five days since you burst into my life with all the fierceness and passion your little personality holds.
It’s been a year since I became your Mum. Worried and clumsy, but hopeful.
I literally have no idea what I'm doing.
On that note, I do owe you an apology. I’m sorry for all those clumsy things I've done this past year. You’ve never been an Alfie before, I've never been a Mum before. Sorry for that one time I let you fall off the bed… and then almost the couch… and then the bed again. Okay, sorry for those three times. Sorry for being so attached to holding you and how I was afraid to let you try solids. Sorry (not too sorry) for co-sleeping out of exhaustion (I actually really adore those bed-sharing cuddles). Sorry for being slow to realize you’re growing up on me, slow to catch up to your transitions and new tricks. It just happens so quick!
There is no such thing as Parenting 101. Well, I suppose there is: your firstborn child. And that’s you, Alfie. 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 Preston. Hanging out with your cousins. The loud. The quiet, the ordinary days when my heart would near-burst over the sheer joy of being your mum. It’s been quite a lovely year.
But I’m not writing this letter to only remember only the sentimental moments. I remember the obstacles. 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 my bed, rocking back and forth, and begging you to go to sleep. I remember holding you, sobbing because I wanted to breastfeed so badly and it seemed too hard. I remember those times when I had to put you in your cot 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 with not remembering the amazing moments in my life and in yours.
Alfie, you need to know that your wee story is different to many but boy is it special.
When I tell you about this year, I want you to feel and see the love that has surrounded you – as I have seen it. I want you to know how you have made my heart so full. One of my greatest aspirations is to be the best kind of Mum that I can be for you, Alfie. To make our home a place where you experience love, hope and honesty all day long. A place where you can be you for who you are.
Today, I celebrate a year of you. I celebrate the fact that I not only survived it, but somehow loved every moment of it. I would not be the mother that I am, without those sleepless nights, and the middle of the night tears. You would not be my beautiful girl, without the smiles, and screams, and even your random tendency to lick everything in sight. Every hour, minute and second that I am yours, I feel more completed and amazed that you are mine. Truth: you make me better. More loving. More patient. More generous. Not just a better mother, but also a better person. The part where you teach me things about myself, while I am teaching you that walking does not have to be scary and loud noises are a part of life. Or that we don’t have to cry every time I take away the television remote, because there are buckets of toys waiting to be played with, and your little owl Lucy waiting for your hugs. And while I am teaching you little lessons, you are transforming the very core of me.
Today, we celebrate. We celebrate a year of you being you. I want you to giggle until you fall over from laughing so hard. Then tonight when you go to bed, 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 Alfie Melfi there is. And I love you.
Happy 1st Birthday, my baby girl.
Big hugs and kisses