One year ago today – one year ago almost to the minute, as I start typing this – our daughter hurtled screaming into the world to complete our family. I lay in bed first thing this morning, looking at the numbers on my clock radio, remembering myself doing the same thing one year ago as the early contractions picked up. One whole year of having this new, wonderful little person in our lives, of learning who this person is who was inside that bump for so long.
She likes banging things and pushing wheeled things and grabbing faces and opening cupboards and watching her big brother and playing hand-clapping games. She hates having her nose wiped and being dressed. (She used to hate having her teeth brushed, but the new strawberry toothpaste seems to have made this activity more popular.) She lets us know what she likes and dislikes in no uncertain terms, just as determined and spirited as I knew she'd be back when I could feel her landing vigorous kicks in my insides.
"When Katie is bigger," Jamie told me today, "she will be nearly sixteen." I'm not entirely sure what he was getting at, but the logic seemed unarguable.
Katie, my little Katherine Abigail, I've been grateful every day of this past year that you're in my life. I'm so looking forward to seeing your exploits of the coming year and every year after that. I love you and I am very, very glad to have you as my daughter. Happy birthday, my wonderful one-year-old.