This time last year, I was still here.
In Perth, in bed, TV on in the background and me checking my phone every two seconds.
You see, my sister was about to have a baby. In Canada.
Wallets are mean, and money is meaner. I couldn't be there.
So, this time last year, I was still here.
But nothing was ordinary. We welcomed a new addition to our family and honestly, everything felt different.
I wasn't the baby anymore, and I wasn't even upset about it. My replacement was way cuter.
This time last year, we were given this little gift and he came in the form of a Nathaniel.
Which literally means "Gift from God" and we loved him so much that his parents made our love for him his second name.
David-- BELOVED. Oh how beloved was he. From the very start.
His mother beloved him with sacrifice and nourishment and agape. His father beloved him with hard work and laughter and really careful driving on that first car ride home. His grandparents beloved him with songs and legacy and deeply funny face making. And we? His aunt and uncle, from all the way over here, we beloved him with face time kisses and hand made toys and prayers for a big,bright future.
Nathaniel, you will always be a gift of God and you will always be beloved. Don't forget it, kid.
SO TODAY! You are a WILD ONE. 365 days have passed since 'this time last year', we have come to see you and we have held you, we have changed your diapers and we have sung you to bed. We celebrated your first Christmas and we forced nicknames on our selves that you will call us for the rest of your life. Forgive us, it was all in the name of love.
We are so proud of you. It might seem silly to you that we are proud of you for being one, but let me tell you what an incredible one year old you are.
You are kind, you say hello to everyone.
You have the most adorable laugh and you use it all the time.
You love to play on the piano and you love it when we sing.
You hold the little toys I made you close, and you look cute on that one blanket I stitched.
You overcome your fears quickly, but you are a wonderfully cautious child.
You say 'HEERRE' when we shout "Where's Nathaniel?' and you are so wicked smart.
So today, Wild One, I'm still a little far away, but my heart is right beside yours.
And as much as the tears feel like they are close, today is not a day for crying.
Today is a day for celebration, because you my dear one- are all kinds of celebration.
Today is a day to scream from the rooftops that WE LOVE YOU, and a day for cake with sprinkles and sparklers. Oh and video to remind you that you are so beloved.