You are the absolute light of my life, sweetie. Yesterday was your very first birthday and I was so proud and happy to watch you cheerfully playing with your new toys, interacting and flirting with everyone, enjoying every second being the center of attention. It was just an amazingly joyful experience to watch you.
During these past 12 months I have watched you change so much and develop this incredible little personality that I learn more about with each passing day. You're so full of unbridled enthusiasm and every time you learn some new skill - crawling, walking, pointing - I find myself feeling so excited for you because it gives you a new way to explore this world you never seem to tire of.
I won't tell you it was always easy. Colic, sleeplessness (yours and mine), teething, sickness - we've been through it all, buddy. While I still don't always have as much as I need, you have taught me the virtue of patience in ways that no one else ever could. You have reminded me of what it is like to be a child. You have made it so that everything old is new again. There have been many nights where I actually want you to stay awake past your bedtime because I will miss you if you go to sleep. (Luckily for everyone, common sense always prevails over that temptation.)
My favorite moments of every day this past year, the one I will never forget even though no photos or videos exist of it, are those that happen when I bring you into bed with me in the mornings to cuddle, nurse and (hopefully) fall back asleep for a little while longer. So many of those times I have stared at your sleeping face in the crook of my arm, taken a mental snapshot, and said to myself "I have never loved anyone or anything more in my life than this little creature right here."
My darling, sweet, baby boy, this year with you has been a gift. I love watching you turn into a little boy, and I will love watching you grow into a man. I promise you I will continue to do my best every day to make sure that your life is full of love, affection, and support as you grow up and make sure you have the tools you need to do well in this crazy, unforgiving, and complicated world.
I love you more than words, D. Happy Birthday.