I’ve had one year to prepare for today. I’ve had one year plus a day, this being leap year. And yet somehow I’m blindsided by it.
One? Really? Is it possible?
Forgive any triteness that may follow.
You’d think that one year is long enough to prepare, ample time to know what to say to you today that’s not unworthy of the joy and beauty and pure love that is Sage. And yet I find myself hesitant, afraid of finding the wrong words.
As your grandma always said to me, “You are a child for the first time and I am a mother for the first time so we’ll just have to learn from each other.” I am a second-time mother for the first time and I think the adage holds.
I want so much for you to be your own person, to find your own way, to live independently of the shadow of Thalia. And while I am spending all this time anxious about it, about I realize it’s exactly what you have done, with or without my help.
I hope I can help you continue growing into the person you already so clearly are.
I hope you never stop being the joyous girl who claps to the beat of any song.
I hope you never stop being the mysterious girl who giggles to herself when no one’s looking.
I hope you can always enjoy bread with the abandon you do now.
I hope you never stop being the girl who loves her daddy beyond anything else, even bread.
I hope you never stop being the happy girl who smiles with her whole face. And yet I hope you know that you never owe anyone a smile, and that the ones earned of you are worth far more than the ones given easily.
Most of all, I hope you understand that coming second doesn’t mean coming last.
I will always think of Thalia in terms of how she transformed me – she made me a mother. But I will always think of you in how you transformed us all into the family that we are.
I don’t always have the time or attention to photograph every single smile, every eyelash flutter, every outreached arm or toothless shriek of joy. I don’t write bad poetry to you (for that you will be grateful, trust me) and I don’t have a baby book plastered with firsts and nexts and almosts and soons.
What I do have is enormous love for you.
This much I am sure. Even after only one year.