Dear Addison & Mackenzie,
This past Friday you turned a year old. I spent a lot of time this year being emotional about how quickly the time was going by. You are growing so fast, and time is passing faster than I ever knew was possible. Each new milestone has been celebrated, but at the same time I have mourned that my tiny little babies are so quickly turning into big (little) girls. Your actual birthday turned out to be not nearly as emotional as I thought it would be. Instead of being sad about the loss of little-bitty, helpless newborns, I am now excited about my funny, sweet, and smart BIG GIRLS! (Although I will remind you again, as I do every day, you will always be my babies, no matter how big you are. That's just the way it works.)
Parents of multiples often say in retrospect that the first year is just about surviving. That was absolutely true for about the first six months. Those were hard months, full of lots of hard work and few rewards. After that, though, it became more about enjoying you, watching you grow, and helping you learn new things. Don't get me wrong...you two are still quite a handful and some days still count as a major success just because we all survived intact and relatively clean and well-fed.
You are both changing so quickly that it's hard to keep up sometimes. At a year old, you are developing such funny little personalities, and we spend a lot of time thinking about what you might be like as you grow up. Addison, you love to do things to make us laugh, then wrinkle up your nose and laugh along with us. Your sweet, sweet smile never fails to melt my heart...and your daddy's too (you might want to keep that in mind for future use)! You can't get enough of pat-a-cake, and you are always "loving" your babies or your sissy, giving them the sweetest hugs. Your kisses for me and your daddy are much fewer, but when you do consent to offer a quick kiss, it's one of the best feelings ever. You love to swing outside in our new backyard, and you have recently learned to point, which you think is the funniest thing ever. Your teeth coming in cause you to chew your lips a lot, and when you show your tongue, you make the cutest little "monkey face." More and more often lately, I catch you sitting quietly, holding an open book and studying the pictures. As much as I love books, the sight of you beginning to notice yours absolutely thrills me, and I hope you and Mackenzie will develop a love for the written word like I did.
Mackenzie, you can be the most serious, solemn-looking baby one second, then break into an irresistable laugh in the next breath. Your laugh is contagious and unrestrained, and it can heal even the worst day in an instant. Your kisses flow freely, and you now love to "share" your paci with your daddy and me. You love to play peek-a-boo, especially with your daddy, and you scream with delight when he hides his head under your towel after the bath. Right now, we are working on teaching you not to hide your face when we say, "Where's Addison?". You never hesitate to show us your tongue, and you have some pretty rockin' dance moves when you play your musical toys. You love to play ball, and I swear you understand the concept of rolling it back and forth to us already. Your sports-fanatic daddy is very excited by your early athletic abilities, and he's hoping we might possibly have a future ball player on our hands.
You each have three teeth on bottom, and you're working on five top ones as well. Watching you use those teeth to actually chew your food, like the real little people you are becoming, still cracks me up. You both pull up to stand with ease, and this month you have started cruising along the furniture. You are getting fast at scooting along, and that's making me a little nervous for the day you let go and really begin to move!
Somewhere along the way through this first year, we all caught on to this whole family thing. It took a long time for me to begin to really feel like a mom, instead of an imposter pretending I knew what to do with these two little people who had taken over my life. Tonight, as I sat in the rocking chair in your bedroom, my lap full of 36 lbs. of snuggly, sleeping babies, I realized again that being your mom is absolutely the coolest, best, and most rewarding thing I will ever do. I love watching you grow and laugh and learn, and I can't wait to see what amazing thing you are going to do next...and to see what amazing people you will become.
I hope you always know that your daddy and I love you unconditionally, with an intensity that you won't fully understand until you become mothers yourselves. And girls, just so you know, this mom thing--it's pretty wonderful.
All my love,