You turned 12-months-old today. You’re a year old. So much has happened in a year and I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed to have had you here with me. You’ve been such a wonderful little girl.
You’ve been so happy, healthy and have helped realize what’s really important in this world.
Your major milestone this month were your first steps. You starting standing on your own last month, but it was a few days ago when you first attempted biped mobility. You made it a step and a half and flopped down onto your butt. Later that day your mom and I put you between us and handed you off to one another. You made it a good three steps before you lunged into my arms.
It’s so amazing to watch you grow. It’s nearly impossible to notice on a day-to-day basis, but I look at photos of you from only a month ago and it’s unreal how much you’ve changed. You’re successfully morphing into what you were sent here to do: walk, talk, poop, cry, laugh, fart, ask me for money, eat all of the food in the house and, with your infinite micro powers, harness what little hair I have left on my head and suck it through my scalp, into my brain where it will disintegrate any will power against you and stop to live comfortably while dangling an inch from either ear.
Now that you’re a lot more mobile, I can really see you’re gaining a sense of independence. At first I was scared. It was shorty after that you relieved me of that fear. Whenever we’re playing on the ground, you’ll occasionally stop and look up at me just so you can make sure that I’m still there watching you. Whenever I crawl on the floor after you while growling and saying, “I’m unna gitchoo!”, you’ll crawl like mad and then belly flop so you’re assured that I will, in fact, get you. I then kiss you on the cheek and you giggle such a happy giggle. I’ll then pick you up and throw you into the air and catch you on you way down while saying, “Weeeeeeee!!!” and you scream with joy. I’ll put you on my shoulders and trot around the house like a horse and you shriek and laugh. You’ll poop and then I just hand you over to your mom.
Your mom and I are so lucky to have you. There is an ancient Swahili song called, “Bwana, anakawuita” which, if I remember correctly, is about a traveling white man who receives a gift because when he arrived for dinner at a local tribesman’s hut, the tribesman was so embarrassed because his children had stayed up all the night prior, updating their MySpace pages and had since neglected to put away their Xbox360 games. So, the tribesman gave the traveler a goat as a significant gesture of sort. You see, it’s all about sacrifice and love. Your mom and I have sacrificed our love for you. Or would love to sacrifice you. I can’t remember.
My point is, your mom and I love you more than you will ever know. We’ve made sacrifices but so far, they’ve all been for the better. We’ve learned to love each other more so that you will grow up in a loving family and know how to love as well. When I come home from work, I kick the cat while walking through the garage door, fart while entering the kitchen, kiss your mom and then lovingly announce, “Wait’ll you smell that!” It’s at about that point where you notice my grand entrance, look up at me, smile and wave your Little Miss Universe wave and then I find solace in knowing that you just witnessed what real love is.
My real point is: I love you. Your mom and you mean the world to me. You’ve made me laugh like I’ve never laughed before. You’ve made me laugh harder than anybody else has. You’ve made me have nightmares that I never thought I’d have; nightmares where I thought I was going to lose you. You’ve made me cry like I’ve never cried before. The day after your were born I cried in the parking lot of the hospital while sitting alone in the truck. I had just driven back from having dinner with my parents and was returning to spend this night with your mom and you. I put the truck in park and without warning, I cried in a way that I didn’t know was possible to cry. I was so happy, nervous, excited, scared, confused and proud. We hadn’t even chosen a name for you yet. I just knew that my little girl was in that hospital that stood before me and I was her dad.
I love you, Sugar.