Sassafras is now 1 year old! And we all lived to see this day!
I remember in the early months, in my depressed and anxiety-ridden state, I would count down each hour, day and week. When she was four weeks old, I would stare at my baby and think, “Okay, we’re both still alive. That’s a good thing.” At the time, I could not even imagine making it to year one (or month two for that matter). And yet, here we are.
I remember many moms telling me to “enjoy every moment.” And it would make me cringe. I do not know a single person who enjoys sleep deprivation. And if you do, perhaps you have supernatural, other-worldly powers that us lay folks lack.
But I am beginning to understand how bittersweet it is to watch your child grow. And the sheer amount of learning and development that happens in that first year is amazing. I have many proud mama moments, and I have caught myself saying, “Do you remember when she used to . . . ” reminding myself of how far my baby has come. I surprised myself with how emotional I became over Sassafras turning one. I was sad the time had gone by so quickly, and I wanted to hold onto my baby just a bit longer because I am sure each subsequent year will go by faster and faster. And then someone reminded me, “But there is so much to look forward to!” And then I was okay.
Of course, one day it will be great to have a child who can wipe her own ass and can speak in coherent sentences.
KK and I have begun a tradition of writing letters to Aliya on her birthday in hopes that one day she will have a collection of letters to look back on and see a glimpse of how much she was loved. This might be one of my favorite traditions.
The birthday party was a success, despite Sassafras’ head cold that weekend. At least everyone else had a good time. I am fortunate to be surrounded by talented, creative, and helpful family and friends who essentially did everything (decorations, favors, set-up, tear-down, photography, etc.). I suppose I did 100% of the physical labor of pushing Aliya out into this world, so I was okay with it. I hate planning parties. I am the worst person to ask to throw any kind of bridal/baby/birthday party/shower/event. I am saying this as a public service announcement, and not to be self-deprecating.
Here are just a few of my favorite shots from the day (taken by the very talented Felicia Cheng):
Doljabi is a Korean 1st birthday tradition where you place several items, each having a different meaning, in front of the baby; whichever item they choose first is supposed to foretell their future.
Aliya chose the stethoscope:
Happy as a clam with Daddy:
Here I am with Aliya in her hanbok (traditional Korean dress):
And finally, a picture of the three of us:
And to many more. . .