One. We know it so well. We say it so often. One slips off the tongue like so many overly familiar words, a hand-holder of the phrases that ease from us without thought. One. Singular sensation. One second, Just One Moment, One Day, The One, One of Us, One in a Million, One Love, Once Upon a Time, One of These Days, One of My Favorites, The One and Only, One-Upped, One Last Chance, One, One, One. It’s just one word, three mere letters; a captain of clichés. Or is it more?
Today it is more. Today, our baby turns one. Today we celebrate the day that Little Natalie entered this world, ever-so-quickly, ever-so-peacefully, the softness with which she greeted us encompassing her soul each sunset since. She is a dream. She is the miracle that arrived between Daddy’s radiation and chemotherapy. She is the joy in the foggy wonder of a long year. She is “Lolly,” she is “Tali,” she is a constant wonder.
Three hundred and sixty-five days have passed, and now we participate in that ritual of celebrating the memory of her day of birth, the ritual of clapping and singing for the wondrous accomplishments she has made since that breathtaking first breath. Nursing, teething, eating, napping, growing, growing, growing. Crawling, pulling, eating, standing, growing, growing, growing. Babbling, cruising, giggling, belly-laughing, growing, growing, growing. Her days have been full, and she has filled ours, too, with awe, with reminders of the beauty of the months that serve as the milestones to ONE. She has passed the tests. She has met and exceeded our wildest expectations. She has earned the single candle on the cake, the messy introduction of all that sweetness, the inevitable joy, the laughter, and the crumbs of it all.
One. The bookmarks saved on the computer for quick links to the sites filled with too much information about baby’s development are outdated now, and must be deleted, updated to pages about toddlers and what to expect from little ones who walk and talk and devour all sorts of previously forbidden delicacies. One. Big kid. One. Independence. One step closer to two, to three, to four. “One…singular sensation, every little step she takes…One smile and suddenly nobody else will do…”
Happy birthday, to one amazing little girl. Thank you for the smiles that you have brought to our days. Keep on shining; it’s amazing, the brightness that one little star can bring to this world. This blog is my birthday gift to you. Whether I write again and what I will write about if and when I do remains to be seen, but tonight, this one’s for you.