As Keira would say, “Wow!” I would say that it has flown by, but the truth is that sometimes it feels like time is flying and others, well, seem like eternity. One thing is for sure, there have been many life long memories created. And never have we been in love with something as much as our Little K.
I always viewed the 1 year mark as a major accomplishment for Phil and I. That means we kept the most precious thing to us alive for the first vital year of her life (obviously every year is vital, but the first year they are dependent on us in a very basic needs sort of way). The threat of SIDS, choking, illness, birth, and many other dangers, make the first year feel like risk lurks at every corner. Never have I worried about things like I have in the last year. These are the kind of worries that are actual worries – not “Gosh, I hope I do well at that presentation” or “I wonder if anyone else on the Central Line noticed that I forgot to put deodorant on this morning.” (Note to non-Londoners – the Central Line – a.ka. Sauna Line – is ridiculously hot) I still wake up wondering if she’s breathing.
Which brings me to the next miracle of surviving the 1st year – sleep. Oh sleep. How I took you for granted pre-Keira. People always tell you, “Enjoy sleep while you can,” before the baby is born. As if you can take it with you somehow! Also, being super pregnant with mass amounts of hormones running through your body is not condusive to great sleep either, so stop telling people that. I know we’re through the worst of the sleep issues. Will there be times when it’s not great? Absolutely. I was a horrendous sleeper as a child. My mom had to buy me this odd looking polished stone that she called a worry wart that I would rub and take with me everywhere. I would wake up at night worrying that there was going to be a fire, a break in, that someone would have cancer. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with this type of material. So no – I don’t believe that sleep will just be a happy time where she requests to go to sleep and wanders off up the stairs to tuck herself in. And at the same time, it can’t be as bad as this first year. Keira isn’t even the worst sleeper I know and it’s been rough. So yeah! We survived and are now going to pop the champagne (and go to bed at 9pm)!
I think back to what was happening a year ago today. We were at the Whittington Hospital. After what can only be described as an ideal birth, we met our sweet, little girl for the first time. Phil cried basically for the first week every time he looked at her. And now I’m crying just thinking about holding our beautiful girl for the first time. I don’t think you’re prepared for how fragile they are. How dependent they are. How attached they are to you immediately. It’s hard to describe how awe struck you are. And then we packed her up, put her in a taxi, and went home. There’s now vague memories of numerous nappy changes and Keira only sleeping on my chest and feeding ourselves in shifts.
It’s absolutely incredible to now look at this super crawler, who “talks” constantly, as the same as the little bundle we brought home. I will forever be mesmerized by what the human body can do. I really believe now that we can do literally anything. It blows my mind when you think of pregnancy and then a newborn and then the changes that happen as they develop.
I’d like to start a birthday tradition, and I’d like you to join me in that. What advice would you like to share with our Little K? I’ll write these all down somewhere special for her to keep for every year. I think legacy comes up naturally when you have a child, and I’d like to be able to guide Keira whether I’m here or not (don’t worry – nothing is wrong with me!).
Keira – I want you to see the world through a lens of love. That all people have something beautiful in them and it is your job to seek that in any encounter. And if you give love, you will receive it back.
To Keira from Dad – You are perfect exactly how you are.
Gosh we love you so much, Keira Grace Hack-a-rooni! And I truly believe that is why so many of our life long goals have happened for us this year, because we have had an abundance of love in our lives.
Now let’s pop the champagne and celebrate!
P.S. We were meant to have a great birthday for her at a restaurant along the canal with two other girls that turned 1 recently. Due to threat of chickenpox, we decided to cancel. So far no chickenpox at least. And so far nothing else has gone according to plan either. The cake burned to a crisp – courtesy of our crap oven (I am 100% blaming the oven!). I had intended on making my Grandma’s chocolate zucchini cake recipe and shaping it into a hobby horse just like my Mom did for my 1st birthday. She did take one bite of the cake I did make and spat it out, so basically all the effort was pointless anyways. She also bashed her head on the new wooden toy we got her and now has a very nice, rosie goose egg on her forehead.