I've realized like never before that the first birthday is for the parents more so than for the birthday child. It's kind of like a rite of passage as a parent, a public affirmation that yes, I somehow survived the newborn circus. I've made peace with 3 a.m. I've now experienced some pretty incredible pain when the little one discovered how to bite. I've not divorced my husband or hired someone to knock him off. I've gotten over my phobia of bodily fluids (which really kind of bothers me...how much filth have I wallowed in that it doesn't bother me to transfer MANY dirty cloth diapers out of the diaper pail into the washing machine with my bare hands? Dare I say that I have found my super power?) I've developed two wardrobes: my spit-up stained, 100% cotton, slumming around the house wardrobe and the 2 other shirts that I coddle in order to maintain some semblance of public decency. I've mastered the art of packing a diaper bag in less than 1 minute. See, the first year is all about...me.
All of this pales in comparison with the extraordinariness that is Abby. My sweet pea celebrated her big day with ease - loving the whipped cream and strawberries, dismissing the mini cupcake (further proof that I'm not the "norm," I was soooo happy that she didn't smush cupcake everywhere!), dismantling a handful of presents with little provocation. All of these weeks of practicing her unpacking skills has served her well if for no other purpose than this occasion.
I, however, was a riot of bittersweet emotions. The best thing that I can liken it to is the crazy, inexplicable onslaught of emotions that come directly after your baby is born - you know he/she is coming, you know roughly what he/she will look like, yet all of sudden, here he/she is, and you're now suddenly responsible for this incredibly fragile looking yet surprisingly resilient little package of baby love and oh my goodness you love him/her with an incredible amount of passion but still, it's just so surreal. This may not be true for everyone but totally true for me.
And here's my sweetness, my little bean, in all of her birthday happiness.