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To my pandemic baby on your first birthday, 

It’s been almost a year of stillness and distance. One year of sheltering you and your brother from the world. 

One year. I’m reminded that it’s been almost a year because you are turning one, my sweet girl. 

You were born at the beginning of 2020, a year that will forever be remembered by this world. Unfortunately, the world saw very little of you as a result. 

The cashier at Target, smiling at me and telling me to enjoy it while I can because it goes so fast.

Sadly, you’ve only been to Target a couple of times and haven’t been there since last March (but boy, Mama misses that place).  

The teacher at daycare, telling me how sweet my little one is and asking me to babysit on her off-time.

Never happened either. Plans changed and you never got to go to daycare. 

The friend asking to hold you and being so jealous of how beautiful you are that it gives them baby fever.

Nope, none of that. That has not been your first year of life.

Instead, your first year of life has been spent in our cozy little home, confined with Mama, Daddy, and Brother.

You’ve got grandparents and an aunt in another state who have never even met you yet and now you are one. A YEAR old and they’ve never seen you. I’m truly sorry, baby girl, I know it’s not fair.

Family that hasn’t held you since February and has barely seen you. Almost a YEAR and they’ve missed it.

Your first time being pulled in a wagon around the pumpkin patch for Halloween. That first Christmas photo on Santa’s lap. That cake smash photoshoot as we celebrate your first birthday. 

All not what we expected for you, this is true.

And you know what? While it’s not fair and not at all what we expected, I don’t regret any of it.

Yes, it’s not fair and yes, this year has been harder than imaginable but there’s a little voice inside my head that says, “I can wait to show you off to the world because for right now, you’re all mine.”

I’m OK that this year has been just you, me, and your brother every day because this has been a blessing in disguise. I would’ve gone back to work at the end of my maternity leave to a job I disliked.

You would’ve spent 50 hours a week at daycare like your brother did. I would’ve missed you crawling for the first time. I would’ve missed that first word. I would’ve missed those first wobbly steps. I would’ve missed so many moments of you and your brother playing and you trying to keep up with him.

So to my pandemic baby, my sweet little girl, your first year is coming to a close. It’s a year that was not expected but was still full of so much love, you can’t even imagine.

It’s been almost a year of stillness but it’s been worth it because it’s been a year of savoring your littleness.

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Courtney Devich

Courtney Devich is the author of "Mama's Got Anxiety," and she relies on Jesus and reheated coffee every day. Using humor, honesty, and relatability in her writing, she writes with a heart for the mama struggling with anxiety and depression. Courtney is a former human resources professional, using her leadership skills to manage kids as a stay-at-home mom. You can find her in the Starbucks line at her local Target, binge-watching TV with her husband, or chasing after a kid (or two) at her home in Michigan.

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