Here is a little video I made from Everett's first year of life:
Songs: "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes and "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan
Dear Everett Sage,
Happy one year birthday. I cannot fathom that you are one year old already, and yet, I cannot imagine my life without you. It’s almost as if I have lived two different lives, one before I was a mother, and another since you arrived, because I am a new person with you in my life. Everything is different, and yet, everything is the same, only intensified. I am the same person I have always been, but now with you as a part of my life, I want to be more; I want more. I’ve always seen the world as a beautiful place, and now it is so much more beautiful, and I yearn to seek and find beauty even more with you and for you. I’ve always wanted to live an adventurous life, and now it is so much more adventurous with you in it, and I long to experience new adventures with you by my side. I’ve always been one to follow my passions, and now I want to do so with more vigor so that you might one day seek and find your passions, too. I’ve always wanted to live an inspired life, and now that is so much more important to me, because you are in my life, and I want this life to matter for you. I want to live a joyful life so that your life can be filled with joy. I want to show you beauty, adventure, passion, inspiration, and joy. I want to be an example to you of these these things. The irony of all of this is that really, you have already been all of these things to me, in your short one year of life, and what I have come to realize, is that you will most likely teach me more than I can ever teach you. You won’t even remember this first year we spent together, and yet, it has been one of the most formative years of my life. I have experienced more joy, unconditional love, selflessness, purpose, (and exhaustion) than I could have ever imagined, and that is all thanks to you. You have not only brought me so much joy, but you have spread joy to so many who are in your life and really, wherever you go. It’s amazing that in this first year, a year you will never remember, you have had such a positive impact. You are too young to do wrong; you only spread beauty wherever you go.
Milestones from the first year:
First teeth (2 bottom ones): six months old
First food: six months old
Learned to crawl in Hawaii: nine months old
First rolled over: three months old
First sat up: seven months old
First steps: at your birthday party, June 6 (but haven’t walked yet)
Stopped using a pacifier: six months old (you quit it on your own)
First word: dog, dog
At one year old, you have eight teeth, two beautiful dimples, bright blue eyes, white/ blonde hair, a tan complexion, babble all day, and mimic noises.
Your favorite things are: water (fountains, baths, ocean), things with wheels (toy cars, bikes, stroller wheels), books, balls, music (listening to it, playing guitar and drums), swinging, mama, dada
Mama’s favorite things from the first year: cuddles, open mouth kisses (because that’s the only way you do it), bath time (for your first year of life, we took turns taking baths with you), breastfeeding, celebrating each milestone, reading to you each day and seeing how you love books (now you read to yourself- it’s just gibberish, but you will sit with a book, flip through it, and “read”)
Places you’ve traveled: Yosemite when you were one month, Mammoth (five weeks, six months, eight months), Zion five months, Hawaii nine months, Spain as a one year old
Today, we were hanging out in our apartment in Barcelona, and your dad was vacuuming. You were a little hesitant to approach the vacuum, often crying in fear as you got close. Then, you would rush back over to me and observe from a distance in the safety of my arms. Once you gained courage, you would approach the vacuum once again, getting a little more comfortable and close each time. This symbolized what I hope your life is like. I hope you can go out and explore, step out of your comfort zone, have courage to approach unknown situations, even if you are a little scared, but all the while knowing that if you need to, you can rush back to me and I will be your safe place, your refuge, your constant.
I guess what I want you to know, as you turn one, and we end a year together where I will remember so much and you will not remember any of it, is that you are loved. You are loved beyond what you will ever comprehend. I say that because I don’t think I ever realized the extent of the love that my parents had for me until I became a parent myself. One day you will read this letter, and I don’t know how old you will be at that time, but whenever it is, I want you to know that you are loved beyond measure. That is what this year was all about for me, loving you the most I possibly could in every minute. That meant reading to you daily, taking baths with you, singing to you, carrying you, wearing you in baby carriers, feeding you solely from my body for your first six months of your life, spending so many hours awake with you in the middle of the night, never getting a full night’s sleep (still waiting to see when that will change), holding you close when you had a cold or a fever or were getting a new tooth, playing peek a boo and hide and seek, taking you for walks, playing outside. It didn’t matter if it was the fun stuff or the grueling hours in the middle of the night when I felt like a zombie, I loved you every minute of this year, so much, and I plan to shower you with this type of unconditional love for the rest of your life.
There will undoubtedly be moments where you will hate me or think I am the worst mother ever, and sometimes I will probably deserve such doubts from you, because I will fail as a parent time and time again. But I want you to know that I will always love you unconditionally and beyond measure. Wherever life takes you, whatever mistakes you make, whatever successes you have, I will be here to share in the sorrows and the joys. You can always count on me to be a constant source of love and support, no matter what. That is what I want you to know. And when things get hard between us, which breaks my heart to think about now, I hope you know what this first year of your life meant to me, how much we were connected, how bonded we were to one another, how I am your favorite person in the world at this moment in life. I am your comfort and your home, and I will be these things for you as long as you’ll let me. Being a mom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I think back to when you were first born, and I was recovering from surgery and feeding you was such a struggle, and I wasn’t getting much sleep, and I felt like I would never be able to leave the house again. I think of all of the hours where I was awake in the middle of the night with you feeding you or comforting you. I think of all of the times where you were fussy or challenging. Those are the moments that only I will remember between us, I will be the only witness to them, but I want you to know they happened, because they show how much I love you. I hope that in the darkest moments of our relationship and of your life growing up, you can hold onto that love.
I wonder what kind of life you will live. Will you love learning, will you love to travel, will you be a homebody, will you be athletic, will you play a musical instrument, will you be an artist, a writer, a teacher, a lawyer, etc. I love dreaming about the future with you, but I also love remembering the past, because it has been such a wonderful year. I look forward to many more with you.