hello big girl jude,
you, my love, are a year old, and i am at a loss for words. the innocence mission–a lovely band much included on your labor mix–sings, where does the time go as a lilting lament, and that’s how i feel. because i love being the mommy to a growing, giggly, silly, big biped, and yet my body is already learning to grieve your independence. you need me, but i am no longer your sustenance. in a little less than a year, our relationship transformed from my sustaining your very being, to you walking over to me and begging for a piece of cheese.
if that much can change in one tiny year, what are the rest of our lives going to look like?
you have taught me this year that nothing is static. our life is alive and full of constant movement and change. you are a new you every single day, and as a big boring grownup, i’d forgotten how much wonder there is in that reality. before you came, days and years bled together into a hazy sameness. now? every moment is clearly punctuated with your waking up to the world. i’m waking up again, too.
with you in the world, jude, i am learning to see it from a two-feet-tall perspective, and it sure is big and full of things. i understand your glee at finding yet another burr recently shed from your clemdog’s tail. because, wow. what is a burr? and why is it prickly? and does it taste like cheese? (no.)
my beloved daughter, i am proud to know you. you are a kind soul, one who wraps her arms tightly around my neck, and hugs me with wordless i love yous. you kiss every favorite toy, right down to the tennis ball. you meow better than any cat i’ve ever met. you are the best decision i’ve ever made.
your auntie sarah wrote a song with the following lyrics about the birth of her little girl, and they ring so true of you:
And life’s come out
from the inside,
and we’re all caught up
in a brand new smile.
Now love’s come out
from the inside
you are alive,
so much more alive.
And love is breathing
like a child come out,
life’s suspended in the gravity of care.
Never ending does the child come out.
And hope’s come out from the inside…
Growing down into the Kingdom, child,
cover our most desperate cries with ease, please!
Love is breathing like a tree on fire,
violently consuming tender lives.
Love is breathing.
i love you with bigger love than i knew i had, judith marguerite. happy birthday.
pee ess: you’ve come a long way, baby girl—