it's incredibly hard to believe that it's been one year to the day that eloise came into this world. there are no words, really, to describe the impact she and her sister have had on us. not the collective, entire world, human race 'us,' but rather their mother and me. we were remarking just yesterday how bebe is a summer baby, born at night, while elo is a winter baby, born in the morning. those differences of season, and of night and day, really spell out how different one girl is from the other: bebe's mechanics are almost entirely internal. just when you think she's zoned out and isn't interested or paying attention to something, she'll surprise you with a detailed recap, with insight, of the situation/event/story/book that you thought she had been ignoring or lost interest in. four hours ago. she takes her time absorbing things, and moves through the world in this way. she is cautious, but confident. and when you think you've figured her out, she adapts in some new way to surprise you. she is the yin to her sister's yang.
which brings us to eloise. eloise, by virtue of being the second child, you will forever define and be defined by your sister. she is your teacher, your friend, your antagonist. and like your birth seasons and hours, you are opposites in many ways. for all the ways she is internal, you are a child of the outside world. you learn by doing, not by observing. direct interaction is your chosen way of process. why watch, when you can 'do?' we like to say that you are the gas to your sister bebe's brake. you're an early walker(though you took your first steps on the same day, to the day, of life that your sister also did) and show signs of adventurousness your sister never did. you spend much of your time chuckling, often to yourself, often for no reason. kind of like a crazy person, actually. you've earned the nicknames (among a hundred others) "delightful" and "buddha baby."
i've got many posts for the next few days to help recap your first year in pictures- there are just too many good ones to pass up or post all at once, and it's been a busy year and i've been lazy. i've decided for this post, your Birth Day post, to put up pictures from your very first month of life- a life you began one year ago today, when you emerged from your mother and wrapped your two tiny arms around mine. i will never, ever forget the feeling of your new, never been touched skin against mine, the heaving of your first breaths as you expanded in my palm, and the astonished blinks of your dark, dark eyes. i remember that someone said that the bottoms of premature babies' feet are often smooth and free of any wrinkles or marks because they're born before these finishing touches can form, and this was the case with you. the analogy that comes to mind is the image of a race car driver, in for a pit stop, screeching back onto the track, with a gas nozzle still stuck in the tank, maybe only three wheels on, and the hood still up. you just couldn't wait!
and neither could we.
i love you. Happy Birthday!