Wow! In two days Stella will be officially be 1 year old. It's unbelievable to think that just over a year ago, I was painting animal pictures for Stella's room and typing weepy, hyperbolic monologues about imminent Fatherhood. And Sarah? Well, Sarah was having trouble sleeping for more reasons than just pre-parenthood nerves...
It's amazing and a still a little emotional to think back on those last crazy days leading up to Stella's birth. And, to this day, I still struggle to think of a way to properly verbalize the feelings I felt when Stella finally arrived. But, I do remember at one point, in the minutes following Stella's birth, thinking to myself very clearly and rationally: "Tyler, you are having one of the amazing moments on your life right this second." A moment of clarity.
And, at that exact same moment, I think I was saying something to the effect of: "omigod-honey-its-a-girl-we-have-a-girl-a-perfect-little-girl-shes-so-amazing-and-so-are-you-I-am-so-proud-of-you*choke*sob*" ...or something like that.
But, it was an amazing moment. So amazing and so powerful that I can still get myself all choked up about it 362 days later.
And what a wild ride it's been since then! Snowstorms! Texas! Crying! A road trip to Walla Walla! A vacation in Hawaii! Bouncing! Illinois! Camping! Crawling! Weddings! Kitties! Highs and lows! Lack of sleep! And treacherous cardboard boxes to fall into!
And during those adventures, its been such a singular treat to get to meet and become better acquainted with this new little person that has come into mine and Sarah's life. Admittedly, there wasn't much to her at first: a burping, crying, and (occasionally) sleeping ball of clay. But each day has been a revelation with a new personality trait emerging -or a new layer being revealed- of this increasingly complex and unique person. That burping little baby is quickly transforming into an independent, spirited, outgoing, happy, sometimes stubborn but easy to smile, active little girl who loves "gitties," her stuffed monkey, playing with cellphones, being read to, bath time and eating peas and blackberries with her own hands.
...and she loves the outdoors! (Here, hiking with mommy.)
It might sound cliched, but its been an unparalleled joy to watch her turn into such an amazing little person before my eyes. And, I'm so happy to call her my daughter.
Then (Stella at 3 days old)...
...and now. Such poise!
Happy Birthday, Stella! Daddy loves you! You've already made me so happy and proud this first year. I can't wait to continue to get to know you in the years to come!
(That wasn't weep and hyperbolic again, was it?)
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