I waited for her for so long. Her middle name, which we've finally decided is pronounced "AyvLEEN" (Aibhilin), means "child who was longed for", and it is so fitting and true - she was longed for. She was worth the wait.
I can't believe how lucky we are, how lucky I am. That we would be so fortunate to have her as our daughter - our own little baby to love and adore - I can't imagine what we must have done in a previous life to deserve such a pleasure. We must be favorites of the one who assigns children.
She's a year old tomorrow. 12 glorious months, 365 days filled with so many smiles my face hurts daily. She's easy - she loves people, but she's fine with playing on her own, too. If she's fussy, something's amiss - she needs a new diaper or a nap or a boob. She eats nearly everything you put in front of her, and nursing is still going strong and has been a breeze (once we figured out what we were doing). Her favorite words are Mama and Dada and Duck, but she talks all the time; her sweet little voice is more beautiful than wind chimes. She's been walking for weeks and is nearly a pro; still lots of stumbles, but that could also be because of the 9 mo. clothes she's still able to wear - the footie pants don't have grippy feet. She still wakes once a night to nurse, but has gotten much better at not waking when I return her to her own bed. She's healthy and smart and so much fun.
I can't believe how fast it's gone by, this last year. If I think about it too much i'll start to bawl; she was so tiny just a moment ago, but I blinked, and now she's walking and talking and before I know it she'll be off to college and won't need me anymore unless she needs someone to co-sign for an apartment. I can't believe how much I've missed. So many hours at work missing her sweet smiles when she wakes from a nap, or watching her discover new things. She's still a baby, but she's becoming a little girl and it makes me so sad that I didn't enjoy those brief moments a little more, that I didn't soak them in better. But I don't know how I could have, honestly - they were gone before I knew they were fleeting. I told Jimi, "It's like she wakes up a little more every day." Like a flower blooming.
There is so much to motherhood that I didn't know was part of the package, so many day to day trivialities that you never consider when longing for a baby. I'll be honest, even though I'm scared to curse myself by sharing this thought: it's so much easier than I thought it would be. It's hard as hell, don't get me wrong, but I love her so much, I want to do everything for her, i'm happy to do everything for her, it's my privilege and my honor to do everything for her. Not that I don't get frustrated, because I do, but when it is all said and done, I'm so blessed to be in her orbit, and to be her mother - it's a prize greater than anything I could imagine. My job is easy because she is easy; I don't fool myself into believing my thoughts on this matter are typical or even that they would be the same or similar if we made Geneva a sibling (which is the main reason we plan for her to be an only child).
I kept her alive and happy for an entire year. Do you know how much sleep I could've gotten had I known last year i'd reach this point this year?