Little girl, you are going to be a year old soon, in just a few months. I can hardly wait! I am sure I am more excited than you are because you don't know yet just how important it is that you have been on this year for this long.
Years ago, years before either your mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother were born, children didn't live terribly long, and mothers would surely be suspicious when a miracle child arrived in the world perfectly healthy.
And you, my darling, are a miracle.
None of us expect that you would come into our lives, and know that you have none of us know what we would do without you. For the first year, all of us secretly held fear in our hearts as the mothers of past generations have that your life might hold some unwanted surprises in your infancy.
But you are a miracle child, and like a miracle you started crawling early, you can stand on your own now and you wrap your tiny hands around the handles of a toy lawn mover and walk yourself across the floor, not crying or bothering when you fall down because you know you will discover the world of walking people soon enough.
You are the most impatient girl. you have already learned how to say "mama," though "dada" is still a word you are trying to understand, but I know your father doesn't and when you call him "Bamba."
You understand jokes now and laugh at things that get the rest of us laughing. Sometimes, you will trick us and start crying just to hear what it sounds like, then laugh at how silly you sound. Silly little mischievous girl. I knew you would be trouble, and I love it.
You like to "read" too, though your books are mostly pictures and you can only read in images you don't understand. But you know you like the colors, and that's all that really matters. When your father or mother reads to you listen to you, you get this lovely smile on your face just to hear their voices sound silly as they pretend to be the characters on the page, the turtle and the hare, the lion and the mouse.
But you are learning little girl, even while you listen to the silly sounds your parents make, the language of your motherland slowly becomes the language you will speak for the rest of your days. You learn it from the music you pick our yourself from the record pile and hope and bounce to because the rhythm is perfect to your feet and your heart and the melody feels nice in your little young ears. You are learning my darling, about life, every day.
So, as I said at the beginning of this article, now is a time to celebrate! You are alive when no one knew you could even exist at all. You are learning, faster than anyone expected of you, and you are alive my dear, you are so alive. You do not merely exist and wanted through the phases of childhood as so many humans do, but you are so aware and excited about this life you were given. You were the impatient star in the sky waiting for her chance to fall and begin the race, and my little girl you when the gates opened you blasted out and broke the hinges in the trail of fire you left behind you.
Every day you run towards the next thing to learn, to see, to feel, to laugh at, to sing, to taste, to love, to hate, to cry at, to sleep or-or jump on or run by. You are in love with life, and I am in love with you, my darling, and always will be. And that, just like your life and all the years that are yours to have, is something to celebrate.