To my sweet, jolly Julian, on your first birthday —

It’s been a whole year, and still I’m amazed daily at how your smile lights up a room. You radiate joy. You seek out opportunities to laugh. Rarely a day goes by without someone commenting about your charisma, your obvious desire to connect to those around you. I watch with amusement as you scan any new room for a pair of eyes you might engage, eager to show your interest and share your deeply dimpled grin. The reactions you elicit from anyone who notices speak wonders, my little love. Your personality is magnetic.

I remember marveling at how instantly your presence felt right, how beautifully you integrated into our family. When Miles first met you, there was a distinct fondness and familiarity in his tone from the start, almost as though you’d been there all along. In that moment, I realized that any fear I’d felt of not having enough heart space to love you both to the brim was misplaced. The arc of your mama’s love is broad and brilliant and shimmering, little one, rather like a rainbow in its span and richness. I feel so lucky to have so much to love.

Julian, you melt me into a giant, mama-sized puddle every single day. You are curious, independent, feisty, funny, tender, and full of heart. You have made our family sillier and our world brighter; there’s just no one else like you.

Welcome, my precious baby, to one.

xo,

Mama

 

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(I come back to this image above constantly, because of how you’re holding my arm. Since your very first days, you’ve done this — held me close, stroked my skin, hugged intentionally — and now, you give the sweetest, slobbery kisses. It seems to me you’ve understood from your earliest moments that touch can demonstrate how deeply you love.)

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*Many thanks to Kate Haus Photography for the indoor family cuddle-puddle photos, and to Amy Benoit Photography for our outdoor family photos taken in Charlottesville, VA. We’ll treasure these memories always. xo

*If you’re walking down memory lane, here is the letter to Miles on his first birthday.