Well then. Today is your first birthday party! Poppa and I are so sorry to be missing it, but I am sure you will have a wonderful time. Your Mama and Daddy have a great reason to celebrate with their friends. Your little family is one year old!
We have been very lucky to have been able to see you in person a few times since you were born. (Here is a link to your Mama’s post about your birthday and the lovely slide show that she made that documents your first year) Each time we were together it was amazing to see the changes that had taken place since the last time. The fact that we can’t see these things happen gradually is the hardest part of living so far away from you. Skype is good, and I am very glad that we get to visit with you a few times a week, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of cuddles and kisses. I haven’t been able to steal you away from your parents for some special time alone (for you and me and for them), and I haven’t had nearly enough time to spoil you properly!
I have seen you transform from that tiny wiggly creature with the great shock of straight black hair to a busy, active curious little girl. I love your happy laugh and your rosy cheeks. Even your temper tantrums make me smile! We have enjoyed visiting and blowing kisses, and I was lucky to see a few firsts – the first roll over, the first tooth, the first crawl and the first steps. We play pat-a-cake and I love to listen to your animal noises. I am most impressed with the elephant. I watched you feed your breakfast to Max and Moe (much to your Mother’s dismay), and even got you to fall asleep on my shoulder – one time. It has been such a joy to see your Mama grow and change as well, and your presence in our family has brought back many memories for your Poppa and me from our own first year as parents, so long ago.
I want you to know that I have great plans in the Grandma department. I can’t wait to spend time with you as you get older, doing fun things together. I hope to have sleepovers and shopping trips and special secrets. I plan to braid your hair and take you for ice cream and slip you a little “pocket change” when you get older. You, like your mother, are my first, so I am sure that I might make a few mistakes along the way, but it is my understanding that a Grandmother’s sins are always forgiven, right? You will be the one who teaches me “how” to be a Gram, so your future siblings and cousins will benefit from our time together, I am sure.
Right this minute you are probably enjoying your “smash cake”, opening presents and giving your parents and Godmother a great photo opportunity. I am thinking of all of the fun that we will have when you come and visit us this summer. I really hope that today it is a lovely day for you all and I want you to know how delightful it has been to get to know such a special little girl this year. Congratulations on your first birthday and I hope that the next 12 months are filled with happy things for you.
I love you more than words can say, sweet girl.
Love and kisses,