❤️ Happy Birthday, my sweet Sophie. ❤️ My heart and brain can not believe that you are already 1. Where did the year go, baby? Our lives changed a year ago on October 9th. I remember this day all too well. Your daddy and I went to the weekly OB appointment, except this time we learned that I was going to be induced. As a matter of fact, my OB pretty much asked “what are you guys doing tonight?” I wanted to respond “Pregnancy Pillow, Netflix & attempt to chill?” or at least “well I didn’t think I was going to be having a kid”, but I spent most of the rest of the day in quiet shock. A blur of a day later, we got in the car and I put my head on Daddy’s shoulder as we drove to the hospital in a lot of silence. I couldn’t talk or think clearly. I was so terrified of labor and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met you – THE Sophie Kaur Behniwal.
When we did finally meet you on October 10th – it was the most surreal feeling in the world. We instantly went from being Raji + Husband, to “Mummy” and “Daddy”. And I’ll never forget the moment when they handed you to me – watching your red little face crying, with your legs and feet outstretched and toes curled. I was a hot mess. You were a hot mess, but you were our hot mess.
I awkwardly hugged you, I was so, so scared of how delicate you were – I was so afraid of breaking or hurting you. Oh, Soph.. Daddy hates when I speak for him, but I can safely say it was the purest, most innocent and incredible moment of our lives when you entered our world.
The last year, I kept wondering “what will I write to her on her 1st birthday?” jotting down notes here and there, but now that we’ve reached this milestone my heart feels heavy. I’m crying in parts as I write this letter, because I am overwhelmed at this past year. I’m in wonder of how much we learned and how hard this year was – emotion-filled tears, the frustration of recovery post-labor, the process and pain of breastfeeding, confusion about almost everything, sleepless nights, blowouts (I’ll never forget what you did to my blue t-shirt), and definitely some moments of sheer exhaustion. I also feel overwhelmed because of how grateful I am for you – you’re our baby – who makes us laugh at the silliest of things, loves Sesame Street, music time with Daddy, the train, and birds. You’re the reason for so many smiles at home, you’ve brought everyone together. You’re the reason for so many “firsts” both for yourself and us. And your smile. Oh god that little smile. You’ve given us so much love, how can we ever repay you, little baby? I wasn’t counting on falling in love with you so deeply – but it happened.
I’ve been trying to snuggle up and cuddle with you tons extra this month, but since you’ve discovered walking I know you have other priorities. As you grow older, I hope you know that we want you to be a happy, good-hearted, kind person. One day, you’ll be able to read this for yourself. Here are a few values I want to share with you for the future:
- We’re not perfect, Soph. We may lose our patience at times, or not have enough energy to play every single moment you’d like (although we try).. we may say things to you in a way that will upset you – but know that deep down, we are trying our best in this journey of parenting. Along with your birthday, we are celebrating 1 year of us making it as parents [this is a bigger deal than I could have ever realized]. As you grow, you will learn, and as we grow, we will learn. But we’ll all learn together.
- DREAM AS BIG AS POSSIBLE: In 2018, things are a bit crazy in the world. We have a yucky, gandha “president”, and women aren’t being treated as equals. I want you to jump past any and every inequality or shitty expectation and break some mother-effing barriers (remember Mummy told you she wasn’t perfect? Bad word, sorry). You achieve as much as you want, walk past anyone and anything in your way, and take everything in this world that you can earn.
- Do everything with kindness, empathy, and & grace.
- Say HELL NO whenever you feel like it. I want you to be able to say no, and even “hell no” if you need to get your point across. Boundaries are everything, and I support you saying no if anyone ever crosses yours.
- Get angry when things aren’t fair. So at the time of writing, you’re 1 – so like if you could tone down the temper tantrums with mummy and daddy, we would appreciate it. But when you deal with the real world, you don’t need to take the high road as much. Screw it – get angry. Because sometimes anger can be powerful, it’ll keep you focused on whats right, and fuel your journey.
There’s tons of other advice I can think of, but the waterworks are starting up again and I should save some ‘wisdom’ for next year’s letter. One more thing, Soph (and to anyone who may read this), Anita thayeeji gave me the best, best words of wisdom and advice when you were first born. She said “When it gets hard, remember that it’s temporary”. That completely changed my life. When things were their hardest this year, I would silently repeat the advice to myself. It’s this advice in fact that makes me cry today – that you’re only a baby temporarily. One day, you’ll be grow to be intelligent, empathetic, compassionate, beautiful young woman – which is why I treasure every single day of watching you blossom. I treasure the simplest of our moments and your sweetest of smiles. Sophie, Happy 365 days to you.
Love you dearly, Mummy ❤️