Dear Shiloh Lucia (an open letter)

Dear Shiloh Lucia,

A year ago this time, I was struggling to get any sleep. You were about to be born. I know that sounds weird, so let me explain.

The week before you entered the world, I wrote you a letter. It was a short one but from my heart. I had always dreamed of meeting you. Your mom and I had waited years for you to arrive. Mommy went through some tough stuff. She’s a trooper.

The night before you were born we went to a Texas Rangers baseball game (Gabe, Amy, Malcolm, The Niles Family, Shannon, Noah). Here’s why.

I asked your mom to marry me under the St. Louis arch, took her up the arch, then we went to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. The day we got married we went to another baseball game at The Ballpark at Arlington to see the Texas Rangers play the Cardinals. So we always said that we’d love to go see a game on our baby’s due date. Because they scheduled the C Section a day late (don’t worry about that, a C Section is adult stuff), we went to a game on your due date, April 7, 2010.

Then you came. Yep. You came screaming, wiggling, and announcing to all of us that you were there. It was 7:58am on April 8, 2010 at Baylor Medical Center in Frisco. Wow. I’ll never forget that moment.

I watched the doctor pull you out. I helped cut the cord. They weighed you (7 lbs, 8 ozs). I put on your first diaper (had to ask Lindsey the nurse for help, she has a baby named Shiloh too). Then I held you. I held you. I held you. The world stopped. Everything was perfect. You were perfect.

Then your mom met you for the first time. She smiled. She cried. She stared at you. I introduced you to your Grandma Mimi and Grandpa Wally. Your mom fed you for the first time. We celebrated all week in the hospital. Actually, we celebrated this entire first year (other than when you woke up crying at night).

We adore you. We love to hear your precious noises. Nothing makes me happier than to see you smile (well, your giggles are pretty priceless too). You can now crawl, clap, wave, blow a kiss, say DaDa, Howa (almost Hola), climb stairs, and take a step or two. You learn fast sweatheart.

You’ve brought more joy to my life than anyone other than your mother. She’s the love of my life. I dream of your future. I cringe when you fall or when I think of someone making you sad. I cry sometimes when I look at your first pictures, when I think of you growing up, or when I watch you on the video monitor.

Today we get to celebrate your 1st birthday. You can’t imagine the work that your mother has put in to making this special for you. She loves you more than anyone or anything in the world. Lots of people will be there. You have to eat your cupcake (make sure to make a mess), bust your Dora piñata, and do all your fun tricks for everyone (wave, clap, coo, smile, blow kisses, crawl, and walk a step or two).