It's your first birthday, and it seems like I should write something to you to mark this event. But where to start? In the first 52 weeks of your life, you have been every parent's dream. You slept through the night after just a few weeks. You've never had troubles eating (although that's starting to change a little bit now). You've spent most of your waking hours smiling and laughing and embracing every moment of life with a joy and enthusiasm that amazes me.
As your dad, I fell deeply in love with you from day one. You looked up at me with those big blue eyes and that shock of dark hair and you smiled, and I was all yours. (Now I know that some people say a baby that's just a few hours old can't actually smile, but I'm telling you, it happened.) For a bunch of reasons, I've been around you for the majority of your waking hours and it's been a blast. You're really fun to play with, and you've already exhibited a sly sense of humor. Just today, after drinking most of your bottle, you offered some to me. When I pretended to take a few swigs, you laughed and laughed, then offered me another drink.
You've also shown amazing focus for a person your age... sometimes to the dismay of your parents. When you want a toy or a magazine or a remote control or whatever nothing will stop you. Attempts to distract or remove you are futile. You can be so persistent, we've taken to calling you "Tenacious E."
This combination of joy, humor, and persistence has be intrigued about your future. You've got an unusual mix of personality traits, and if they continue through adulthood, they will serve you well. I hope they continue. I really like your personality.
So what can I offer you this year in the way of birthday wishes? I guess it would be that you can take this joy and enthusiasm you have for everything around you and translate it into your adult life. This is no small task. It's much easier to be happy as a baby than as an adult. But seeing how you've been over the first year of your life, I'm inclined to believe that happy is your default setting. May it be so throughout your life. And may you always have that little sparkle in your eye that seems to say you're up to some trouble... but not too much trouble.
Happy birthday, Eliza. Your mom and I love you so much. We're utterly at a loss to put it in words, but my gosh, what a beautiful person you are. Stay sweet.