I’m not ready to say goodbye to one.

One has been a year full of fun and laughter. This year of toddlerhood made right all the things that felt wrong through the difficult year of infancy. It deepened my love for you with every smile and broadened my pride with every accomplished milestone.

We’ve come a long way this year, you and I. We have grown as individuals, both finding our own confidence as we discovered who we wereyou as a person and me as a mama. Each day a new piece of your personality developed, and it was a delight to get a front-row seat to watching you become you.

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You explored your world with wonder and curiosity in your eyes and you taught me to find awe in the little things too. We found that Saturdays are better when they start with dance parties in the kitchen and summer nights are ended best with a popsicle on the back porch while we watch fireflies.

We both learned lessons in patience and self-control, and you reminded me to check my own heart even as I was correcting yours.

I vowed to do my best to be your safe place, somewhere you could run to with every emotion and find comfort and peace. You proved to be the same with your unwavering loyalty and babyish grin. I will forever treasure these days where a kiss from me will cure any hurt and a hug from you can quiet the chaos of my grown-up world.

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I love our little life together in its simplicity and sweetness. You have grown so much and come so far in this year that seemed so very short. Your little legs that started the year wobbly and uncertain now run, jump, kick, and dance with abandon. You went from helpless to helper as you jump into cleaning every spill, collecting laundry, and running little errands around the house.

With each passing day, I have watched you become less baby and more child, but the memory of your dimpled little fingers pointing out the window, the way your little voice fumbles words that are only barely recognizable as the word you are trying to say, and the feel of your downy head on my shoulder as I sing you to sleep are forever branded in this mama’s heart.

These are the moments of perfection.

Yes, this year your vocabulary expanded and so did my heart. Your independence increased and so did my joy. Although my heart is not ready to let go of sweet one, I also look forward to the wonders that two will hold. One taught me there is simply no re-do, rewind, or even a pause on time, so I will do my best to not waste a single second of two. I will savor every trace of your babyhood that is leftthe pudgy little legs, the need for mama’s comfort, the belly laugh. But I will also celebrate every glimpse of childhoodthe mastered skill, the blooming imagination, the conquered fear.

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Saying goodbye to this first year of toddlerhood is anything but easy. I feel my heart still clinging to it every day we have left. Despite my hesitation to say goodbye, I am certain this second year will bring just as much joy, as many lessons, and even more love as we continue to grow together.

So, happy birthday dear baby! It’s time for our next big adventure.

Brianna Forsman

Brianna is a pastor's wife and stay-at-home mom to a rambunctious bundle of toddler energy. As a former preschool teacher, she is a Pixar enthusiast, eats way too many Goldfish crackers, and prefers socks with characters on them (generally mismatched because who really has time to pair socks?). She has loved writing for as long as she can remember, and she always strives to write authentic, humorous, and encouraging pieces that warm the heart or tickle the funny bone.