In just one year, you've taught me to surrender, slow down, really see and feel each moment for the fleeting beauty that it is. You've taught me that spinning, knitting, reading, and time to myself are lovely, yes, but not vital at this moment. You've taught me to sit on the floor and play and to ignore the housework.
You've learned to sit up, then crawl, then walk, all in one short year!
You've sprouted three teeth in a many weeks, and have three more working their way through. Your little body has fought colds, and now you're getting over a doozy: a whole week of fever and coughing.
You've had two trips to the emergency room, once when you were two weeks old because you had a weird cyst in your armpit, and once this week because I was so worried about your ongoing fever.
You love to kiss and bonk foreheads with your siblings. Balloons make you laugh. You love to pet the ponies and cats. You act bashful by shrugging up your shoulder and turning your face into my chest when a stranger talks to you.
You love yogurt and scrambled eggs, cantaloupe, peas, water, and ground beef. You hate cow's milk.
Your face lights up when your siblings come home from school or come down the stairs in the morning. You are held by many arms, kissed by many people, and have brought so much more joy into our family than we could have imagined when I found out I was expecting you back in April 2012.
In just one year, you have established yourself as the sweetest, most easy going girl. You've deprived me of a year's worth of sleep, nursed for a year (so far), and woken up every morning for 365 days to the loving faces of your family.
You pinch our arms and necks as you fall asleep, leaving tiny bruises. I miss seeing those bruises on my arms, now that I'm back at work.
You toddle towards me when I come in the door each evening, with your wee arms stretched up to surround my neck. I crave the softness of your hair against my cheek, your kisses where you lean softly forehead and close your eyes for the gentlest of embraces, and kissing your beautiful, beautiful face. Your deep brown eye, impossible eyelashes, and wide, squishy mouth inspire poetry in my heart when we're apart. I miss you all day and cherish your warmth all night.
Norah Dell, I love you, and wish you all the joys the world can offer as you set off into the world of one.