We only break out the good stuff for special occasions: the crystal juice pitcher, the real champagne, the butter cream frosting recipe. Summer's first birthday warranted a very special occasion. Yahoo-ing her first year of existence is a certifiably joyful event on its own, but I think what our family has done collectively to get us through the last year deserved acknowledgement, too.
Last year, when I met Summer, my focus was pretty immediate and singular. It was very day-to-day survival mode. Which was great, because I did a lot of work developing my "be in the moment" mindset. I don't remember daydreaming about what Summer would grow to be like, I just took her in as she was that day. Looking back, I see what a difference a year can make.
Today, we have our own home. We are on our feet. We are preparing and enjoying our own meals, and inviting people to join us. We are hanging our clothes in closets, not suitcases. We are comforted with the stability of knowing where we are, setting forth in a direction we have mapped out ourselves. When the universe decides to throw us our next curve ball, we'll be armed with our ability to adapt, together. This last year has given us resilience, brought us closer, given us pause to be grateful for what we have.
In one year, I have raised my last baby through sleepless nights, constant nursing, laughter and tears. I have done this alongside the demands of three older sisters-- one of whom started attending school. I have seen my family rush in to help us as needed, often without us having to ask. I have felt my faith that "everything would be OK" waver a little, and enjoyed life a lot more when, indeed, things turned out just fine. I have let Summer's radiant personality and comical timing be rays of light in some dark days.
Our family has truly grown, both physically and symbolically. This little girl was the ultimate curveball, but oh goodness, am I sever glad she joined us. She's a perfect fit.
Happy birthday, little Sum-sum. We love you to the moon and back!