I wrote to you the week you were born to recount the story of your birth, to etch the words in a forever memory, never to be forgotten. The day when you entered our lives.
Today, I want to do the same thing. For the same reason. So that I never forget your first year. I swore to myself when we first had you that I would never call you anything other than Abigail. What a beautiful name you have! But alas, as the months rolled on and your sisters wore me down, you were called by many endearing names, our most favorite being “Abby Cadabby” like the Sesame Street character and my least favorite being Grace’s slang of “Abs.”
Your first few months seemed a blur of breastfeeding, trying to keep up with your sisters, sleeping or attempting to sleep even though your sisters were awake when you slept (can anyone really communicate how hard it is to have three kids under five?? ever??!), and just trying to make sure that you survived their attempts to use you as their new doll 🙂 Most of the time you didn’t mind at all and anytime you did, you were quick to scream and look at me in an act of desperation, your eyes saying, “MOMMY! Free me from these crazy siblings who wish to use me as their pawn!” Now, you gladly play with them and let them play with you and Chesed has even learned how to safely take care of you in her loving, almost-three-year-old kind of way. No one makes you laugh like your sisters. No one.
But, I am happy to say, more than either of your sisters, you are a Mommas girl. You love your Daddy immensely and cuddle into his chest just like both of your sisters did, but when it comes to making your needs known, Mommas your gal. Your Daddy often tells me, “She was fine until you walked in….really!” as you break down in tears when I enter the room. While some people would see this as a negative thing (and I am not saying it is easy when this does happen!!) I secretly love the fact that you can break down with me like no one else. I pray it stays that way. That when you are 2 or 12 or 17 or 25, you will know that my arms are a safe place to rest and be yourself and be loved for who you really are – nothing more or less.
I guess that is one of the things I have realized in this first year of your life. Many of the things you have shown us to be true about you as an infant, I pray will endure into your adulthood.
And I want to write these qualities down now, these observations, which Maria Montessori would be so proud of, to remind you of who you really are, if ever you seem to forget. Because sometimes life gets hard, as you have already discovered having two sisters! and sometimes we need a gentle and loving reminder from someone who really loves us to answer those deep questions of “Who am I?”
Abigail, you love people. You hate it when everyone leaves the room and you are the only one there. You have screamed in protest about this from the day you were born, pretty much. I love that about you.
Abigail, you have a hearty appetite for life. You play exuberantly, laugh unashamedly, and are ticklish and fun-loving.
Abigail, you will eat whatever is placed in front of you. With thanksgiving. Never have I had such an un-picky eater.
Abigail, you love music. You love to dance to songs and play drums with Daddy and sing alone with Grace and her violin.
Abigail, you light up every room you enter. Your smile distracts all of my Bradley students every week when Daddy brings you in for me to nurse you. Strangers comment how beautiful you are and how happy you are. Your presence brings joy wherever you go.
Abigail, you love to cuddle. You linger in my arms and don’t just come for physical nourishment but for emotional comfort and security. And it is perfect. and beautiful.
Abigail, you are a unique and essential person in our family. And with you, we have all become better.
I love you, my dear Abigail, and my prayer for you today, on your first birthday is simple. I prayed and asked God to speak to my heart a blessing to speak over you today. Here it is:
(From Proverbs 8)
I pray that you would speak noble things, that from your lips would come what is right and that your mouth will utter truth. I pray that wisdom would be your crown jewel, that nothing you ever desire would compare with her. I pray that you would be a woman who listens to the voice of Wisdom, watching daily at her gates and waiting beside her doors…that in finding Wisdom you would find true life and obtain favor from the Lord.
I love you, my precious daughter. I praise God for your first year and I pray that you would have a hundred more, full of love, life, wisdom, and fruitfulness in Christ Jesus, whom I pray will become as precious to you as He is to me.