Dear Sweet Ryan–
I am writing this letter to you on the eve of your first birthday. It was just one year ago today that I was anticipating my upcoming trip to the hospital. I was anticipating finding out if you were a boy or a girl and seeing your face for the first time. A place that held many different emotions because of the circumstances of your sisters’ birth (you will hear more about that later) would now hold so many happy emotions upon your easy arrival in to the world. I remember hearing them tell me you were a girl and feeling so relieved. Even though I said throughout the pregnancy I just wanted a healthy baby, deep down I really wanted another daughter! The day you were born I remember people telling me what a strong girl you were and what an easy baby you seemed to be in the nursery. They were right! You are such an amazing baby–you are always happy and ready for whatever we are doing at the moment. You rarely cry and always go with the flow. You have taught me that a heart that was already full of love for its children could expand to hold even more love for another child. You have brought indescribable joy and happiness to my life as I watch you discover the world around you. So what is it that I love?
I love the way you twirl my hair around your finger when I feed you or hold you.
I love the way you point to anything you want and say “d” knowing I will get it for you.
I love the way you plant slobbery kisses right on my lips.
I love the way you examine everything you can see–from my face to the animals at the zoo. You realize the power of curiosity even as a baby.
I love that when something falls you always say “uh-oh” whether it fell on purpose or by mistake.
I love the way you cling to me! While there are times when I wish you would let an unfamiliar person hold you, I am secretly pleased that you feel most secure with me.
I love the faces you make as you try new foods–you instantly let me know if you like it or not.
I love that you already get the “swipe” motion of the iPhone. Simply by observing my every move, you already know what to do.
I love to watch you sway your little body as you dance to music you hear with that beautiful smile on your face.
I love that people stop me in public to tell me how beautiful you are.
I love that when I pick you up, I hear you practically whisper the word “Up.”
I love the way you shake your head no and say “n, n, n, n, n” when you don’t like something.
I love that being your mommy makes me a better person and brings me joy I could never imagine.
I love that I have been your source of food and comfort for this year. I would not change our middle of the night feeding times for anything in the world (but don’t get me wrong–I am glad you’re sleeping all night).
I love the way you pat me on the back or shoulders when I pick you up or hug you.
I love the way you idolize your big sisters and watch their every move. Sometimes they are the only ones who can get you to laugh. I hope you will always feel the same way about them.
I love how you scoot all over the place on your bummy–I think you are afraid you will miss something if you put your head down to crawl.
Today you are an infant and tomorrow you will be a toddler–the truth is you will always be my baby! I hope you will know that and you will feel comfortable coming to me for anything at anytime. I thought I would have lots of dreams and wishes for you and your sisters. I thought I would know what I would like you to become but my wish is simple: that you would always feel loved, accept others and experience happiness. What that will look like in your life I have no idea but I am hopeful your life will always bring you great joy.
I am forever honored and grateful that I get to be your mommy. So to you for your birthday I offer you this quote from Frederick Buechner: “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
May you experience many more beautiful things than terrible things and may you never be afraid because of the strong, courageous and confident person you are and will continue to be. I love you through and through, Pookie Bear!
Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet RyRy,
One year ago today, you joined your sisters in the rare category of “profound things that changed my life in ways I never thought possible.”
As you get older, I hope you will come to know me, not only as an aunt who looooooves to spoil you, but also as a friend and someone who will always be here when you need me. And even when you don’t need me or even want me, rest assured that I will still be here for you.
It is my honor and privilege to have a front-row seat to your evolution into the brilliant, thoughtful, funny, generous, beautiful, creative, caring and unlimited woman you are going to become. I cannot wait.
All my love always,
Happy Birthday, Ry-Ry! I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for you and your sisters. You have added to the joy that already existed in your family. I can hardly believe you are 1! It seems like yesterday I was holding you after you were born. We are so proud of you already but can hardly wait to see who you continue to become! Thanks for being the first baby Parky held and fed food to— you were preparing him to be a big brother. He loves you so much- we all do! Happy Day! Love, Aunt LeAnn (Uncle Barry and Parky, too!)
Happy Birthday, Ryan! Poppy loves you and your sisters more than you can ever imagine. I really enjoyed reading your Mommy’s heartfelt letter to you and I hope when you get older, you will read it many times as a reminder of just how special you are and how much you are loved. Have a great day today and every day!!! Love you! …Poppy
Happy Birthday to Ryan! A beautiful little girl with a great big smile. Jackie
Happy 1st birthday Ryan. I am so blessed to be your granny, and you are truly blessed to have a mommy who has spent hours documenting your first year for so many to enjoy and relish reading each week. You have an amazing family, and I hope you will always remember that family is more important that any material thing you can ever possess. I love you dearly and want only God’s richest blessings to pour over you each day. You have truly brought such joy to so many people, and I loved all the characteristics that your mom outlined in her letter to you. I’ve never seen a girl “scoot” around as fast as you, but I witnessed it when I was there. One minute you were in front of me, and the next minute I had to look for you and found you under the kitchen table!!! I pray you will always have that gorgeous smile on your beautiful face. With lots of love and continuous prayers. Granny