Tonight, I took that same girl, now ten times chunkier and spunkier, upstairs to bed. We settled onto the sheets, threw the covers back, and cozied up to each other. Isla was exhausted from stair climbing and birthday caking and all manner of exploring/grabbing fistfuls of her brother's hair/eating his cars, but as we sidled up next to each other in the dark, she looked up at me with a giant grin, searching my face for permission to dive into our nightly before-bed routine. Absorbing my smile, she scrunched her face up into a squinty-eyed pout, and held it, posing like a boss, until she couldn't possibly hold it anymore and her breath pushed out of her, bursting into a giggle. She pulled her face back up again, this time pushing her lower lip up over her top lip and tipped her head back, holding it in stoic silence until her breath pushed out of her and she was a pile of giggles again, curled up in the crook of my arm. I mirrored her game, blowing my cheeks up and holding my breath, as we packed on a few more minutes of one-year-old humor. I then pulled out my secret weapon. The ol' ear-rub-slash-leg-rub-after-the-stealthy-flip-onto-the-belly trick. Combined with a near silent rendition of You Are My Sunshine, and she was out faster than she's ever been, maybe this entire year. And that was it. There she was, my silently slumbering one-year-old, sprawled out on the bed, looking entirely too big and entirely too small all at the same time. I watched her for a minute and celebrated to myself. I did it. I made it a year. I really made it through another newborn year and I did it with two. And just look at her. She's beautiful. She's mine and she's ours, and the three of us are so lucky to have her.
So happy first birthday to you my sunshine girl. I love you so much it hurts. You're the Isla of my dreams.