A year ago, I chauffeured your mother to the hospital, a moment we had anticipated eagerly for over nine months. Your arrival brought forth a whirlwind of intricate emotions, hitherto unexplored. From trepidation to elation, from anxiety to serenity, a multitude of sentiments converged all at once. The depth of this sentiment eludes verbal articulation.
Beholding you for the first time was an exquisite sight. You appeared so petite, so delicate, and yet bewildered and apprehensive in the face of an entirely novel environment.
A year has transpired, and today marks your inaugural birthday.
Within this span of time, you have undergone remarkable transformations and acquired abundant knowledge: feeding, imbibing, sitting, crawling, and standing. Though verbalization eludes you presently, you already emit fascinating sounds, possess the ability to express your needs, and engage in conversation with your parents, siblings, even recognizing your grandparents through video calls…
I cherish every facet of your being: your rosy cheeks, your dainty nose, your tiny hands, your budding teeth, your radiant smile, your profound ebony eyes… The list is endless, for each passing day, you bestow upon us new revelations. Yet, truth be told, Ambra, this is what fills us with trepidation.
With each passing day, you grow, yet we are cognizant of the inherent realities of maturation. In this moment, you exude an angelic innocence and purity, thus, Ambra, pray, resist the urge to hasten your growth.
We revel in cradling you in our embrace, but inevitably, the day shall arrive when you outgrow our arms. Thus, I implore you, Ambra, defy the constraints of time’s swift passage.
The amusing sounds you fabricate with your tongue evoke laughter, therefore, Ambra, I beseech you, remain forever young.
In your presence, the passage of time seems to fluctuate, at moments moving languidly, at others, akin to the swiftness of light. We oscillate between these two states, keenly observing every metamorphosis you undergo, and invariably realizing a universal truth: everything changes, and nothing remains the same.
Indeed, all individuals succumb to the inevitability of growth and aging. Nevertheless, when we reach the age of 20, 30, or 40, the changes experienced within a day, a month, or a year are essentially inconsequential. Conversely, during infancy, toddlerhood, and childhood, transformations unfold dramatically and manifest visibly.
As the adage goes, in this realm, change remains the sole constant. As I contemplated this eternal verity, I arrived at the realization that “Ambra, please don’t grow up” is an irrational fallacy.
We adore you fiercely for who you are today. You are who you are now because you shed the skin of yesterday.
Today, we cherish your tiny teeth, though mere months ago, they were yet to manifest.
Today, we revel in your toddlerhood, yet not long ago, standing was an unattainable feat.
We derive immense joy from witnessing you delicately partake of solid sustenance, a skill you recently acquired.
Irrespective of your future metamorphoses, our love shall endure, if not deepen. You shall evolve, we shall transform, and our bond may shift, but our love shall forever endure.
Ambra, when you encounter your parents uttering seemingly eccentric pleas such as “Ambra, please don’t grow up,” do not internalize it. Instead, continue to employ all your senses to explore and comprehend the world, and persist in your pursuit of growth, ceaselessly bestowing upon us delightful surprises.
A year ago, you were an infant; today, a toddler. In due course, you shall become a young lady, a woman, a wife, and a mother…yet you shall forever remain our cherished daughter.
We shall witness your happiness, your trials, your sorrows, and witness your daily metamorphosis. Though a small part of our hearts yearns for you to forever remain unchanged, we pledge to greet your growth with sincere smiles and warm hearts, eagerly anticipating the unfurling of your wings as you ascend to new heights.
We shall forever stand by your side.
Wishing you a joyous first birthday, dear Ambra.