To the little one, on her first birthday

Today is my niece’s birthday. The little one that showed me the power of unconditional love is a whole year old today. 

This is my letter to her, on her first birthday…

Dear Isabel,

Hi sweetie pie, it’s auntie! I can’t believe today is your first birthday – it seems like just a couple of days ago, we sat snuggled on my couch while your mama recovered and we sat there drinking tea and eating chocolate chip cookies while you napped on my chest.

And today? You are walking! No more sleepytime on auntie’s chest (though you are still the best cuddler around…I love it when you “koala” onto your mama). Now I get to watch you grow into a chatty little girl, a beautiful one, at that.

And well, there are  a few things your auntie wants and hopes for you in the year (or years) to come. I wanted to share them with you here, so one day, we can look back on them together, hopefully ticking lots of them off the list, one by one….

…I want you to embrace your beauty, always. Just like I said when I talked about you on my friend’s blog last week, I want you to be confident and happy and content with who you are: a beautiful, bubbly, loving daughter and niece.

…I want to take you on auntie dates – to the park, to the playground, on walks around the neighborhood, to get your first manicure. Would you like to do that with your auntie one day?

…I want to hear you say “Auntie Jess” – you know the minute you say it, you’ll melt my heart (and will get whatever you want from me after that!).

…I want to make healthy snacks with you – ants on a log was always my favorite growing up, I can’t wait to make that with you one day. And maybe some chocolate chip cookies too…but only as a treat, maybe for your 2nd birthday. How’s that for a deal?

…I want to take you and Uncle Scotty to a Red Sox game one day. Maybe not now, but in a few years when you’re old enough to understand how the game is played (Uncle Scotty will show you, though – I still don’t know how the game works…maybe you’ll be more sports-savvy than me!).

…I want you to make your mommy and daddy proud. Every day. Show them how much you love them. Be a good girl for them. Play nice with your school mates. Bring home pretty pictures that you drew in class so they can cover their fridge with your paintings and drawings.

But most of all? I can’t wait to watch you blossom even more in the next year. You’ve already grown so much in the past few months even, I can’t imagine how much more you’ll change and grow. And I love that. You make me so very proud!

Happy birthday sweetie. You are one! Amazing!

Auntie loves you! ❤