Inside me you grew for 9 months, expanding, rolling, kicking, squirming. At 7 weeks, I saw your heartbeat: a flicker inside a small pouch up on a screen. At 20 weeks, your arms, your legs, your face. This small silhouette on the screen was beautiful. A girl. Our daughter.
Your Daddy and I spent every moment of the summer together: Walking, laughing, driving, chatting. We grew to love each other more, as we shared our joys and fears of the inevitable change that would be coming to our life. Parents. We were going to be parents. To a baby girl. The only comfort we shared was that we’d be in it together. A team. For life.
It was Daddy who came up with the name Lucy. Lucy the Valiant, from the Chronicles of Narnia, a noble character. The name of your great-great Grandmother. A sweet little girl’s name. Lucy.
August 1, 2008 came and went, with no sign of Lucy arriving on your due date. We waited, spending our days as normal as possible. The following Tuesday, we met friends at Landmark Americana, and had appetizers and good conversation. I had a feeling you were getting ready to make your arrival. We went home after the tab was paid. Contractions started, and we went to the hospital at 3am, only to get sent home first thing in the morning. Deflated, frustrated, we took a nap after a long night. The only hidden happiness was the hope you might arrive on your Daddy’s (and his grandpa’s) birthday.
Contractions again, later that night. 24 hours of wondering, “Is this it? Is it time?” 24 hours of fear and anticipation. 24 hours too long. We make the familiar drive to the hospital, finally getting the affirmation we needed: It’s time! Laboring and one epidural later, it was morning, and at 10am, I began to push. Progress was slow, but eventually steady. At 12pm on the dot, August 7, 2008 (your daddy’s 24th birthday), your lungs filled with air. 6 lbs, 5 oz….20.5 inches long.
You were here.
You were beautiful.
And off we went, you and I, on this adventure of Mother-Daughterhood. I had no idea what I was doing. You were so small. You cried. I cried. Daddy cried. Life as we knew it was over. But what a great life we were beginning. Together.
Days passed. Diapers. Feedings. Napping. Not napping. Sleepless nights. Spit up. A rhythm was forming, and we began to understand one another. We started to get this “family” thing down. Days turned into weeks. 3 weeks, I saw your first smile. 3 months I got a full nights sleep. 4 months, you rolled over. 6 months you sat up by yourself. 8 months, the day after Easter, you became mobile, and crawling became your favorite pastime. Crawling quickly turned into cruising, which inevitably meant a lot of falling. And staying true to your pattern of new milestones every 2 months, you began taking your tentative first steps at 10 months old.
Suddenly, you were no longer a baby. You were a toddler. A little girl. When had time slipped away?
Lucy. Your name means “light.” And “light” defines you so appropriately. You light up a room as soon as you enter it. Anyone who is around you cannot help but smile. Your laugh is contagious. You love life. You love people. While you may be shy in new situations, you quickly warm up. You explore everything: grabbing, touching, teething, pointing. You are quick, halfway across the room before I know you are gone. You hardly ever sit still, and your energy amazes me.
You are independent and emotional. Every need you have, you make known! From day one, you were exercising your voice. Those newborn cries gave way to coos, laughs and babble. Babbling is now slowly turning into words. Putting a cell phone up to your ear, you ask, “Halla?” Following suit of your friend, Aiden, you have learned the word, “Ball,” and point out your bouncy ball every chance you get.
We love to snuggle. Although it usually only lasts for seconds, you lay your head in my lap, you caress my cheek, you play with my hair. Some days, you get to sneak into bed with Daddy and I. You laugh, trying to wake up Daddy. We play peek-a-boo. And in a sweet moment, you lay your head next to mine, and we gaze into each other’s eyes, understanding something unspoken.
I cherish these moments.
You love your Daddy. When the doorknob turns at 3:30pm, you quickly look up from what you are doing because you know who will walk through the door. You love to sit in his lap best of all and read a book. Daddy plays his guitar, and you are mesmerized. You bounce, dance and sing along with him. You love to pat his hair. He is your Daddy Man.
You love to make us laugh. And in turn, we make ourselves fools to hear that beautiful sound coming from your lips. I would run for days on end if it meant I would hear you laugh.
I am so proud of everything you do.
My old life, as I know it, is gone. Yet, somehow I did not live until you were placed in my arms. What did I do before Lucy? Where did I find my joy? You have been so gracious as I stumbled on this new path of Motherhood. I was really clueless from the start, but I am learning more every day what it means to love you and take care of you.
You are my firstborn. You, and you alone, have made me a mother. A mommy. Mom. You have taught me how to comfort, how to soothe, and how to be patient. You have forgiven me when I mess up, and I am sorry it is (still) so often. You bring me joy. You have shown me how to love. I understand, now, God’s love for me simply because of the love He has placed in my heart for you.
One year ago, my life began with yours. Here’s to one year more.
I love you, Lucy.
You are beautiful.