The past year had gone by so quickly. Your baby phase is over and now that you are a toddler, we have a new set of struggles to overcome. I wouldn’t say that it had been a roller coaster ride because Mama finds roller coaster rides horrific.
Our first year together wasn’t all that bad. In fact you’ve shown me how to love unconditionally. And you are probably the only person on Earth I would do that for.
Last year had been about learning and love. You’ve taught Papa and Mama the extremes of things, patience, weakness and strength, anger and joy, depression and happiness, hate and love. Most especially love. You’ve strengthened the love Mama and Papa have for each other. And our love for you is a unique, overwhelming and scary thing that we’re only starting to get a grip on.
I hope you don’t mind that we didn’t have a lavish celebration for your first birthday. That you didn’t have a balloon because Mama finds it unnecessary and only pollutes the environment (Papa tried to convince me otherwise). That you didn’t have a cake smash like all the other 1-year old of your generation. Remember Mama forbids you to play with your food? That’s the same idea sweetheart. Mama finds it utterly stupid to let babies smash a cake and waste it.
Especially your birthday cake. Do you know that I’ve ordered it especially from Tito Alvin, perhaps the best baker in the whole of Holland? You can’t get cake better than his.
I tried to give you the best of my time and the best of my abilities. But it seems like we are far behind when it comes to the (baby) trends of your (post-millennial) generation.
I mean we haven’t even gone to a baby/mama yoga class. You didn’t get a professional newborn photoshoot. And your first birthday photo was a snapshot from Tita Jane’s phone. Papa didn’t even make an effort to shoot a nice portrait of you with his professional camera. Your beautiful, angelic, and absolutely amazing face is never shown on social media. All that in addition to no cake smash and no balloons. What kind of mother am I?
Gender reveal party, what’s that? Babymoon, does a marathon counts? A tipi-tent in your bedroom? Honey, we can use a blanket. A baby book? Mama couldn’t be bothered. I hope you won’t be bullied for this in the future.
But I tried to make it up to you. I brought Lola over to Holland thrice in a year so that you don’t have to go to the daycare before your first birthday. Mama finds that too early. We went to France when you were 5-months old, where you were introduced to baguette, the best in the world. We went to Germany where you ate your first snow. Probably won’t be the last time either. I still don’t let you cry yourself to sleep. And you still get the boob (singular anak because you oddly preferred only the left one) before you go to sleep and when you wake up in the morning. And we are always chasing ducks and birds.
There’s no shortage of attention and cuddles for you in our household. Too lavish even, at least in the Dutch’s point of view.
And you know what, Papa left a lucrative job after six months because he’d rather spend three hours sitting beside you, watching the same videos of Juff Roos en Gijs a million times than relish the peace, quiet and solitude of sitting in his car while stuck in traffic jam every afternoon. Never mind that he goes to bed and wakes up in the morning with the lyrics of Hokey Pokey raving inside his head.
All for love sweetheart, all for love.
Anyway, this letter is getting too sentimental. I hope you enjoyed the night out with your friends. Next time, don’t come home too late.
Happy birthday T!