Wednesday, March 13, 2013

to Charlotte, on the occasion of turning one year old

Don't judge me.  I like cake.  photo: Raj Lulla Photography

Dear Charlotte,

You just celebrated the first anniversary of your birth.

This has posed a dilemma for me as your father because you know I hate cliches, but I find myself uttering phrases such as: "They grow up too fast," and "Time flies."

I could regale you with stories of your birth, about how you didn't cry but instead looked very concerned and had a furrowed brow about being born, much the way I imagine the innermost Russian nesting doll would react after being abruptly exposed to the outside world were such a thing properly anthropomorphized.  But I will spare you because I love you and also because I plan on embarrassing you in front of your friends someday when the time is right.

You took your first unaided steps just a few days after your first birthday.  I assume this is because you needed the proper motivation of cake and balloons in order to complete entirely pedestrian stages of development.  This does not at all strike me as unhealthy and is in no way a reflection of your mother and me.  Neither is the heaping dose of sarcasm from the last statement, which you will also likely inherit.

It has been amazing to watch your little personality develop, from the way that you respond when I walk in the door when I come home from work, to the way that you will play hard to get when I ask you to hand me something that you shouldn't be playing with.

While these things may only represent a small fraction of the time that you will live in our home, one thing has become inescapably clear during your first year on this planet: you will outgrow your need of us long before we cease taking joy in caring for you.

You are loved more today than the day you joined our family, and you have been a constant source of joy in our lives every day in between.

I know you won't remember, but we had a birthday party for you anyway.  Our friends came with their kids.  Grandma made JELL-O cake.  It was fairly low-key, but we celebrate your presence everyday, so I don't think it will be a problem.  Your mom often jokes that you won't be short on confidence.  I'm inclined to agree.

I love you.  Thank you for a first year filled with smiles, laughs, hugs, kisses, and sweet rockings to sleep.  Here's to many more.


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