Dear Sweet Baby,
It's been quite a year, baby girl.
We first met when you were a few weeks old. Your mom and I chatted about what the coming months would look like and then she set you in my arms. There you were, arms and legs flailing, this wriggling mass of newborn in my arms. You were not happy to be held by someone other than your mother. I looked down on you and felt a moment of worry. What had I gotten myself into? What if you hated me?
Then I relaxed and knew somehow, some way you and I would figure this out together. A tiny little peanut and her caregiver making their way through each day.
At two months, you and I began the process of finding our routine. By routine, I really mean rhythm. Our days have their own flow. We have eating time, nap time, playing time, dance party time, and, unfortunately, diaper changing time. Lately, crawling time or, alternately, holding someone's hands while walking time has been added into the mix.
The other day we finished lunch and then I carried you outside. A lawn maintenance crew worked on the house across the street and you were mesmerized. You cannot get enough of lawn mowers lately. It was well past 90 degrees but we sat on the porch in the shade and watched the mower cut across the lawn and you were happy. You giggled and waved and babbled. A beautiful moment.
You clapped when a breeze stirred the leaves of the trees. Your attention momentarily drawn away from the droning mower and then distracted again when you noticed my earrings. "Gentle touch," I reminded you and at first you remembered. Only to then yank. A teachable moment.
Later that same day, you whined no matter what I tried. You cried when it was time for your nap because you disagreed with me, even though you kept rubbing your eyes. You are not always sweet, Sweet Baby. But hey, we're all entitled to have a few of those moments.
You are still a baby but each day you grow closer to looking like a little girl. And just as you're growing up, your personality unveils itself to us a little more each day. You are smart, beautiful, sassy, and silly.
I marvel over being a part of your formation.
Your family and I are quite the team. Some days I think you realize and perhaps take advantage of the way everyone dotes on you. You are one lucky girl. Then again, we are lucky for having you in our lives as well.
I am not your mom or dad. I'm simply Miss Leigh. You don't know what my role is in your life yet, only that I am a part of it. You smile when I arrive in the morning and wave bye-bye when I leave.
Because of me, you love music and dancing. You laugh with glee when I ask, "want to listen to your music?" and start the Spotify playlist. Now your arms and legs flail to a beat all their own, your head bobbing along. Yes, I'll take full credit for this. The rest of what you learn is due to group effort. We all take turns teaching you to clap, blow kisses, walk and somehow these cumulative efforts take root and there you go. Plus, the things only your parents can imbue.
Today you turn one. Many milestones lay ahead of you. There's no way of knowing who you will become but I'm honored to be a part of the ride.