Bebé Plus Me: The Power of One

Blogger-in-Chief’s Note: This post was first published on November 3, 2011 to celebrate the 1st birthday of Baby L.  Lil’s Sis’ reflection of the challenge and wonder of watching her first and only baby grow in her womb, in the world, and always in her heart, plus the gratitude to los abuelos, especially Mami, is a tribute to all the women whose sacrifice and love are the bedrock upon which our our families and neighborhoods thrive.  On this Mother’s Day and every day, thank you!

“Where did the time go?,” a cliché that sums up my total disbelief as my little miracle turns one.  I am an emotional wreck as I reflect on every moment and milestone leading up to Baby L’s birth and now her first birthday.  She has changed our lives and made it better in ways we never could have imagined which you can read by clicking here to read previous Bebé + Me posts.

I have watched her every move through eyes clouded by proud tears or eyes made wide by my smile braced by a dimple of love and another of admiration.

Her first smile–you know the one she held, not a passing cheek contortion that could accidentally pass as a grin.

Her first imitation of our sounds.

Saying mama although now she only says dada.

Her first giggle, which came much after she burst out laughing with her big beautiful brown, twinkling eyes.

The first time she discovered her fingers fit perfectly in her “doggy brother’s” nose (like the good boy and Big Golden Retriever Bro that he is, he just sighed, nonplussed by her non-stop curiosity.

Treasuring the first time she pulled herself up to stand, clutching the coffee table with her little hands.  Soon, that action, like so many others, will become a reflex, a sign of how quickly she is growing.

So I write–and can forever–because I don’t want to miss anything.

I write because I want to document everything.

I write because I’m afraid I’ll forget.

The Wise Latina Club's Baby L Turns 1

Baby L Turns 1

Without sounding like a starlet accepting an Academy Award, I have a few people to thank for not allowing me to disappear during Baby L’s first year in a sinkhole of exhaustion and insecurity:

El Husband.  Baby L is your world and you have become the man I always knew you could and ultimately would be.  To watch the bond between father and daughter, automatic since she was born and growing with each day, has humbled me.  She adores you and doesn’t try to hide it, as she will in many years when she crushes on a high school boy.  Pure, unadulterated love. Thank you babe.  You are our (including the Golden’s) rock.

Mami & Papi, por todo, gracias.  Where do I start?  How about: we would not have survived Baby L’s first year were it not for your love, support, amazing meals and unsolicited parenting advice dating back to 1950s Colombia which is 1850s the rest of the western world.  There is no libro (hat tip Papi) or guide better than your brujería, all the old wive’s tales that have tenderly nurtured our seedling family, starting with enchumbando–tightly swaddling–Baby L to living the Happiness Mantra of un niño bien comido y limpio es un niño feliz (Translation: Fed and changed diaper = Happy Baby).  Baby L’s face lights up when she sees her ya-yos, the name she babbles when she sees her abuelos).  So blessed that you two are in her life!

Baby L.  Thanks for making me not just a mother, but a Mami, a direct blood line to my own and her madre, ad infinitum–the biggest compliment anyone could pay me.  Every day, I am grateful for the blessing of YOU.  I love you more than you will ever know.

On your first birthday, ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

What were your feelings as your baby turned one?


  1. Lucy says

    What a beautiful homage to your daughter and your family. Baby L is a lucky girl to have you as her Mami. Speaking from experience, this past year with baby is something you will never forget. My oldest turn 14 in October, and is now in grade 9 (High School!! Seriously!),and when she’s asleep, I look at her and I can still that beautiful baby in her. And, not to worry, you have so much to still look forward to. The first time she says “I love you” in her little voice will be the BEST day of your life. You’ll also watch her grow into a young woman with intelligence and compassion, as I am doing now. The entire journey is a miracle, not always easy, that’s for sure, but more rewarding than anything else you will ever accomplish in life.

    Blessing to Baby on her Frist Birthday.


  2. says

    I love it! What a great memory another reason to love blogging! It’s being able to document these moments and reflect on them even a year later it fills me with joy. I am a mother so i know the feeling from a mother to a son and a mother to a daughter so much love!

  3. says

    Such a great piece! I’m telling you, I cannot wait to feel these emotions when I have my own. My biological clock is definitely ticking and these beautiful posts don’t help! Lol. Ay yay yay.

  4. says

    it’s amazing how little ones can have that effect on us. and, one is such a big year! she’s finally starting to get to know herself and those around her! enjoy her to the fullest. I’m sure you’re an amazing tia and godmother! I’m sure your sis is a happy mother and happy mothers day to her! :)

  5. says

    Isn’t it amazing that they are itty bitty babies for one year. That’s all you have to enjoy them as babies. Then infancy begins and that’s a totally different game. Enjoy every second of it!

  6. says

    What a lovely letter :) My boy is turning five in November and I don’t know where the time has gone, it seems like yesterday that he was a little baby and at the same time I don’t seem to remember how it was before he was part of our lives. Weird, huh? Thanks for sharing. Love it.

  7. says

    Que lindo! I kid that I’m counting down the days until my boys turn 18, but I know I’m going to miss them like crazy. Time is just flying by.

  8. says

    What a beautiful post reflecting on Baby L’s first year!! I also write so that I don’t forget – one day your daughter will look back and read all of your posts and she will feel truly blessed.

  9. says

    How wonderful that Baby L will have such loving tribute to reflect upon during various points in her life as a teen, a young woman, and someday maybe a mom herself. A loving reflection on what it means to be a mom!

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