The latest issue of Dear Baby Magazine finally here!
If you have a look at the past issue, you might notice my little Eva on the front cover! When she was 10.5 months old she “modelled” for the magazine and we received free professional photographs of all the the images used.
I also somehow convinced Johnny to be a contributor to the magazine. In this issue he shares a few of his letters to Eva, written when she was 3, 6, 9 and 12 months old. You can read them on pages 68-72.
But since I haven’t posted all of these letters, I thought I’d share them here as well.
Letters from the First Year
I don’t think that you noticed, but this past Sunday, you turned 3-months old.
For you, it was just another day of lights and shadows and movement that you are still trying to understand: vast sheets of vivid colours and meaningless shapes spreading unevenly in front of you.
Some of those shapes are beginning to have some significance. Your Mommy’s beautiful face smiling down on you. The puffy, orange lips of your favourite stuffed toy dangling from above. My face, stubbled and tired, but all smiles when I come home to find you and Mommy snuggled together on the sofa.
But it’s all still too overwhelming for such a little thing to comprehend.
So I don’t think you marked this Sunday as particularly special.
But I did. I thought about how much you have grown. How every day, I see more of your personality unfolding and blossoming. I thought about how today you are 3-months old and tomorrow I will turn around and you will be a little girl.
I thought about how I need to try and hold onto these little memories: the way you purse your lips when contorting into the most yogic of morning stretches (while simultaneously letting loose with shockingly loud farts); the way you raise one eyebrow quizzically; or how you smile like I do, sort of drunkenly lopsided.
And even though for you, Sunday was just another day. And even though by the time you are old enough to understand days of the week, and calendars and birthdays, 3 months will seem like a ridiculously small amount of time to get excited about.
For me, Sunday was a milestone. And I was so proud of you.
Six-months old and already you seem so grown up. I look at the photos we have from the day you were born, and I can’t believe that you were ever that small. Or ever that fragile.
And now you can sit. Completely unaided and with perfect zen focus for 20 minutes at a time while contemplating (i.e. chewing and gnawing on) your toys. And now you can push yourself across the wooden floors. Working hard to get where you want to go.
We see more and more of you each day. Your little preferences for a particular toy or song. Your ways and means of doing things. You have an unfathomable but undeniable logic in everything you do. I can sit and watch you for hours, just imagining what you are thinking.
Only 6-months old and you have already changed me so much. Changed me for the better. Made me a better person, a better man. And I promise to always do as best I can by you. And I may not always be able to give you everything you want, I will always give you everything you need. I know that you will take that and make the best of yourself.
Because you are doing that already.
Your mummy and I love you forever and always.
You are 9-months old and bounding your way to toddlerhood.
I am already finding it hard to cope with. I see little girls laughing and playing in the park, and I can’t help but think about how soon that will be you. Running up the slides. Chasing other children around the swing set. Sneaking off to have private conversations with a best friend.
But for now, you are at least content to pull yourself up on the coffee table. Standing tall and proud, but already contemplating taking that first step.
And you are such a curious little one. Into anything and everything. Squeezing your small body into anywhere it will fit. I love picking up your room at night and just seeing what you got yourself up to during the day.
And as much as I want to freeze these moments and hold on to them forever, I am so excited to see what you do next. What your next triumph is. And this is how it is going to be your whole life. I will always be there to gush over all your triumphs, at times to your great annoyance.
But someday, when you have your own children, you will understand how much I love you and why every little accomplishment makes me so proud.
I love you so much.
You are now 1-year old. No longer a baby (and probably already annoyed that I still think of you as one). Almost a little girl. Trying to do things for yourself. Trying to explore the world around you. Pushing a little further and farther everyday.
I wonder how long it will be before you no longer turn around to make sure I am still there behind you, ready to catch you. How long will it be before you race off into the world ready to take it all on by yourself?
You are already so proud and confident and headstrong. Already trying to run faster and climb higher.
And I am so, so proud of you.
One day all of your achievements in this first year will seem so little compared to what you are doing then. Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing up, saying your first words. These will seem small and pitiful. But to us these achievements have been like climbing Everest. Huge accomplishments that we celebrated and documented and will never forget.
One day you will be somewhere, possibly halfway across the world, calling us to say that you have gotten that job or you are getting married or you are having baby. And those will be amazing, fantastic, life-changing moments for you and for us.
But you won’t remember that you felt the same way the first time you clapped your hands together. And the first time a puppy dog licked your outreached fingers. And the first time you noticed the rain falling onto your face.
I’ll remember all those moments for you.
We love you more than you can ever imagine.
Happy birthday, little girl.