Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ruby Tuesday Revisited

Dear Ruby,

Exactly one year ago today I was sitting under the picture window in our old apartment in your great-grandparents' old love seat knitting a pair of ruby red baby booties. My water broke earlier that morning when I got out of bed to enjoy the first day of my maternity leave and your father and I spent the rest of the morning at the hospital. There was no sign that you were coming fast, so we were sent home with instructions to return later that night. As I sat knitting your booties, determined to finish them before your arrival, your father frantically cleaned the apartment, with the knowledge that at least one set of your grandparents would be arriving from Calgary within 24 hours.

Now, one year later I look at you and can't believe that the little bleary eyed being that I finally got to hold in my arms after 36 hours of labour has turned into a creature more beautiful than I ever could have dreamed. You have surprised me so many times over the course of the last twelve months: your blue eyes (which belong to neither myself or your dad), your absolute stubbornness (which belongs to both myself and your dad), your maniacal laugh, the fact that you could crawl at 5 months, your love of cheese and toast, the enthusiasm you put into your hand-clapping, your appreciation of Neil Diamond, the ease in which you interact with other children, the wet sloppy kisses that you withhold from nearly everyone but me, your obsession with the telephone and the remote control, your gentle smile, the way you bat your eyes and pose for the camera...… every move you make is a surprise.

In many ways, the last year has been the most difficult of my life, but in many others it's without a doubt been the best. I didn't expect that I'd spend every day laughing, but with your easy smile and mischievous eyes, you make me laugh at least once a day, usually much much more. With you on the verge of walking and your "talking"” being filled with more and more intonation, I can't imagine the kinds of giggles that you'’ll draw from me over the next 12 months. Your transition from baby to toddler has been so amazing to watch and I feel so lucky to know that I'll spend the forthcoming years watching you transform from a miraculous child into a phenomenal young woman.

And I'm also excited to see how I'’ll continue to transform. Since your arrival I've been less cynical, less critical and more likely to smile at people on the street. I feel like I'’m a functioning member of humanity, and for that I thank you.

Happy birthday, baby. I love you always,



carrie said...

how lovely! happy birthday to her!

petulant said...

you know, I wish I'd written to my daughter on her first birthday. Now she's (just) old enough to go to school, that time seemed only yesterday and yet a lifetime away for her.

When you're pregnant you laugh at people who say 'it'll change your life', but the amazing thing is how you discover something different in yourself, a strength, a tenacity, a level of tolerance that wasn't there before.

Best wishes to the both of you for a good day.

K.T. said...

What a beautiful love letter. Happy 1st birthday little girl.

mamaloo said...

Happy birthday little Rubylicious! Kieran, Sean and I are looking forward to the next year of you!

sp said...

Happy birthday Ruby! I hope you have fun with mommy and daddy!
Elizabeth, that's an amazing letter you wrote her. I wish I would have done something like that for my crazy little 34 month old (aka the rocking K).

samlamb said...

Oh Elizabeth, I have a huge tear in my eye. What a perfect letter.

Happy Birthday Ruby! You look like a radiant toddler, all smiles and new teeth. I know you'll make your Mom giggle all year long!

valentina said...

Beautiful. My baby is just over three weeks. I'm looking forward to the year ahead, so wonderfully anticipated for me by your letter.