*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


Turtle Boy,

Wow! You are 1! I almost can’t believe it. I’ve watched you grow and change over this last year and still I’m full of shock you’re now 1. I wonder if this happens to all Moms and I’m sure it does. Sometimes in the daily grind of Motherhood, it’s hard to see the time ticking by moment by moment.

baby, growing, growing up, smiles, play, toddler, fun, family, birthday, one year old, cupcakes, candles

Sometimes, something will catch me and I can almost literally see the second hand ticking as I watch you learn something new. I’m constantly amazed at how you grow. Each new day brings a new set of change, even relatively minute changes I often notice. Like the other day when you got onto the driving car by yourself and just sat there. The week before you would try, but still wanted a bit of help and now you do it by yourself.  This time, you sat there full of smiles.  It’s like you even knew you’d accomplished something big.

park, baby, growing, growing up, smiles, play, outdoors, outside, toddler, bike, yard, fun, family, birthday, one year old

As a Mom, I’m always so proud of every little thing you do. I know I sometimes seem to go overboard with the praise and the clapping and whooping. Those times I seem to go overboard often is from holding back and watching from afar. I tend not to praise every single thing in every moment because honestly, I’d spend most of the day doing just that. Besides, I don’t want you to get some complex in needing everything to be a celebration throughout life. I also don’t want you to become numb to celebrations by doing it too much. Don’t worry, I do the same with your brother, it’s what I believe.

Nonetheless, I was folding your diapers the other day peacefully alone, I reflected on it having been another full year. I praised myself for making it through the infant stage.  I honored the time that passed while noticing changes within myself. See, Turtle Boy, your brother’s first year was harder for me and I didn’t experience it as fully as I have your first year. Despite that, I’ve been present to both of you this last year.

park, brothers, baby, growing, growing up, smiles, play, outdoors, outside, toddler, yard, fun, family, birthday, one year old

I’m honestly amazed at how good it feels. It’s shocking, the time that’s gone already, yet I’m still amazed at everything both of you are and all that I am as your Mother, too. I’m in awe of our family as a whole and I appreciate each one of us in a unique way. You are such a blessing in my life. It’s a tremendous honor I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity in life.

Motherhood isn’t an automatic experience for everyone and sometimes before being a Mom, the pressure to be a Mom is immense. Even, as a Mom, there’s pressure to be a Mom, but it’s a different kind of pressure. Life is like that sometimes. There are these lines of delineation which can sometimes seem to solid until your life has you cross one of those seemingly solid lines. That’s when you realize the line wasn’t so solid, but the intangible ideas surrounding that line were scarier than the reality of crossing.

baby, growing, growing up, smiles, play, outdoors, outside, toddler, stick, yard, fun, family, birthday, one year old

I know you’re only 1 today and you don’t understand, but I hope to ensure you will understand one day. In some ways, I’d love to keep you (and your brother) young and safe and secure with me, but that’s not possible. So, I view one of my primary jobs in life as a teacher and guide. I want both of you to be strong and secure in yourselves, while also having a sense of direction in life.

Papa and I never want to direct either of you, we do want you to gain your own sense of direction. It’s important and one day you’ll understand why. Until then, I’ll relish in your smiles. The laughter and playfulness of your childish joy. Your sloppy open mouth kisses on my face and the way you snuggle in my lap or demand attention with your screeching. I’ll always be ready and willing to hug you, give a quick kiss, or comfort you. I’ll willingly show by your side, even through the tough, because you are important. Your place in our family, my life, and my heart will never change.  You don’t have to wonder if you fit because you always will. You are special and deserving of all that I can be for you, healthily present.

baby, toddler, boys, family, fun, play, rocking chair, 11 months, 3.5 years, home

I don’t want you to ever stop being full of smiles or seeing the world through wondrous eyes. I want you to always look up at the trees and breathe fresh air as if it’s a true fuel, filling you with brightness and love. And, I want you to know your place in this life is as important to me as my place as your Mother is. So, as you turn 1, I honor our past and our future together as I stand here full of smiles, too.

With so much love,

Momma

baby, growing, growing up, smiles, play, toddler, fun, family, birthday, one year old, cupcake, candles

P.S. I’m excited to order some cards for you from Tiny Prints*. They have such wonderful layouts and their modern designs, plus the quality of their cards meets my standards. I just don’t have the time to make everything myself these days. So, I’m happy that Tiny Prints* has great money saving offers which help me ensure you have nice cards for your birthday.

1 Year of Smiles
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*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


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