Newsletter: 1 year

Dear Claire,

You are a year old. I know this sounds cliché, but I really can’t believe it. When I found out I was pregnant, I honestly didn’t think I’d get through the next month, much less a year. When you were born, I was terrified. We could barely take care of ourselves; how were we supposed to take care of this little helpless thing? I was convinced I was going to breastfeed – JR actually had to buy bottles without me knowing. But, it didn’t work. We saw 3 lactation consultants, used pumps and shields and warm compresses. But, you just wouldn’t do it. You were headstrong, even then. So we switched to bottles. Had to feed you every 2 hours. It was a challenge to just get you to eat 2 ounces. We were exhausted.

But, then? Then you started smiling. Then laughing. And then you became the happiest baby I’ve ever met, even without the book.

You rolled over. You crawled. And now you’re walking. And boy, are you walking. Even your Aunt Addie mentioned how fast you were. I can look away from you for 2 seconds, and when I look back, you’re gone. And not just in another room. Gone. Out of eyesight. Like, I have to walk around the house looking for you. And, you just started to do this funny thing where you pull your arms behind you, like you’re walking so fast, your arms are flying back. It’s hilarious.

You’ve started your teenage angst early too. Your new favorite game is to walk into a room, and close the door behind you. I can’t tell you how many times your father has “misplaced” you, only to find you in a dark room, by yourself, with the door closed.

You’re so independent now. Your father told you that you couldn’t play with something and you stuck out your bottom lip and glared at him. Glared. We couldn’t help it, we laughed. You’re totally playing me like a fiddle these days. I tell you no, and your bottom lip quivers and your face turns red and I immediately sweep you up and hug you and tell you I love you. Usually I give you whatever you wanted. Played.

I’m sure you won’t remember this time in your life, but I wanted to say I’m sorry I’m working. You dad gets to stay home with you, and play with you, and love on you all day, and I’m stuck at work. That’s all I’ll say about it. Just know that I went to work because I had to. Not because I wanted time away from you.

What else? Oh! We take you swimming a few times a week. Nothing formal yet, just me or your dad dragging you through the water. You love it. There wasn’t any option for you, really. Both your father and I love the water; you were going to have to learn how to swim sooner or later. But, now you’re practicing in the bath. You’ll put your mouth in the water, and then sit up. It’s like you’re practicing how to hold your breath.

I’m sure there’s more, but the bottom line is that everything you do is amazing to us. I was holding you the other night before you went to bed, and was struck by how big you’ve gotten. I know that you’re supposed to grow up, but could you slow it down just a bit? It’s all happening too fast.

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