December 16, 2014

To Mary, On Your First Birthday

Dear Mary,

  In the hours before I would be induced with you, I rubbed my belly and talked to you. I said that I thought you were a girl, though didn't care either way - I just needed you to arrive safely. You kicked in reassurance that you were ok, and later that night, you arrived safe and sound and perfectly healthy.

You were born on a Monday, just like both your brothers and weighed right in the middle of their weights at 6 pounds and 12 ounces. You were beautiful and pudgy and had the most hair of any of our babies. Your brother Finley met you the following day. He knew all along that mommy was going to have a baby sister for him. He was gentle and loving with you, and a year later he still is. You are so lucky to have him and we are so glad you two have one another.

We got to bring you home the following night. Tuesday December 17th. A friend stayed with Finn who was already asleep and Daddy put Jackson Browne's "She's Got to Be Somebody's Baby"  on in the car. I will always think of you when I hear that song.

And then we were home. And our family became more complete and special because of you. We started to navigate life with more than one child - something we had dreamed of for a very long time. We readjusted to life with a newborn, and let the (wonderful) surprise of having a baby girl sink in -though I'm not entirely it has sunk in fully for your dad :)

Before you were even a month old your daddy had to deploy. He's gone again and while he is sad not to be here as you celebrate your first birthday, I hope that one day you grow up to be as proud of him as I am.

I hope you realize early how much your whole family loves you. Your brother is starting to get a little protective of his toys now that you are on the move, and will warn me when "Mary's playing with dat!" but he offers you a different toy instead, though you much prefer whatever he is playing with, or at the very least being near him while he plays.

He helps take care of you and comfort you and last night as I tucked him in to bed, he said he would always protect you so you don't get scared of monsters.

The other day in the car, you started to fuss and he simply said, "it's ok Mary, we are almost home." He tickles you and likes to feed you and my sincere hope is that you two always love one another the way you do now.

You crawl fast and are pulling up on things, but showing now signs of walking just yet and I'm ok with that. You've helped remind me that we all, babies especially, do things in our our own time. You love to eat, and have the most delicious chub to prove it.

Your nicknames are Meatball (because again - your thighs are the best), Puppy (because you always stick out your tongue and pant when you're excited), and MA (just like your Nana). You literally squeal with delight when I vacuum and try your best to catch it while it's moving.

In your first year you have lived in two states and three different houses. If Daddy stays in the military, you may as well get used to that! You rip your socks off constantly - even if it's cold out, and your hair gets awesomely curly when it's humid.

 You wake up happy most of the time (I wish I could say the same for your brother - or myself, for that matter!). You smile with your whole face and love to play peek-a-boo, love baths, and love to splash in Roscoe's water bowl, much to my chagrin.

You can no longer be bothered with diaper changes - making them a challenge for both of us, though I always win (much to your chagrin).

You eat with one foot propped up, enthusiastically welcoming each bite.

And you have the cutest curls on the side of your head, that I joke make you look like a Hasidic Jew.

I sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to you each night before bed, and every night you rest your head and your body against mine - giving me a few precious moments to soak you in before I put you down.

It has been an honor and a joy watching you grow. We love you so much and I sometimes still can't believe our good fortune that you are our baby girl.

I wish you many, many, many more healthy and happy years.

Happy Birthday, Mary Adelaide - I love you.



(if you're really in the sentimental mood, as I am, you can re-watch Mary's birth video here)



  1. I love this a million times over❤️. Happy birthday, beautiful miss Mary. You are one loved, lucky little girl.

  2. I had to stop a few times because my vision impaired by tears.

    She is SUCH a joy, and that chubby n.a.k.e.d. baby is my FAVOURITE!

  3. Happy birthday Mary!! We love you so much! And I don't know how anyone could watch her birth video and not cry! Such a beautiful video!

  4. That little meatball in that nekkid shot! Oh, she is such a delight. Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet Mary!

  5. I love the nekkid shot too. This made me teary. She's such a lucky girl to have you.

  6. I love how I can hear in your words just how lucky you are that you got YOUR kids. She is ALL kinds of delightful!!!! Happiest 1 M.A.H!!!

  7. What an adorable post!! Seeing her grow has been such a sweet experience. I rewatched her birth video yesterday, and then was all blubbery and didn't know what to say in my messy state and was just going to leave in all caps, OMG SHE'S PERFECT. But I'm not coming back today day with anything better thought out, so I'll repeat. SHE'S PERFECT, and I love her to pieces. Happy birthday Mary!!

  8. Sweet sister of mine. You have the most incredible gift of perfectly articulating your love for all of your babies. I love Cale, Finn and Miss Meatball with all of my heart and am so grateful that they have you and Miles for parents. Your children are blessed---they will understand (more deeply than most) how precious and incredible life can be through the love that you give them.