You Gave Me Hope {A Letter to My 1 Year Old}


Feb. 14, 2020

I went to the doctor’s office for a blood pressure check to see if I was pre-eclamptic. The doctor told me that to keep you and me both safe, I needed to go to the hospital. Even though you were three weeks early and I had to be induced, my labor was quick. At 4:44 p.m., you were born. You were beautiful. You changed my heart and my world. You gave me hope.


March 14, 2020

Ohio was put on lockdown orders because of COVID-19. There are no cases in Ohio, but thousands and thousands overseas and a handful have been detected in the United States. The death rates are high and the future seems unclear.

Today you turned one month old! We are adjusting to being a family of four and we just adore you. You are smiling and cooing. Your future is so bright. You give me hope.

May 25, 2020

Today, a man named George Floyd was murdered by police. He was black, like you. It has sparked outrage over the way black men and women are treated by police. He called out for his mama while a police officer was kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes. He tried to tell them he couldn’t breathe. People all over the world are fighting for his rights, your daddy’s rights, and your rights, too. People all over the world are chanting “Black Lives Matter,” because they do.

Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with you. We snuggled and I squeezed you extra tight because I am so grateful for your little life. You are three months old now and we are finding our rhythm. You’re getting the hang of sleeping and have started giggling and squealing when Mama tickles your neck. You love being outside. Your sister is warming up to you and you are warming up to being in the bathtub and baby pool. Today and always, your life matters. You give me hope.

Summer 2020

The Olympics were supposed to be held this summer in Tokyo. Daddy was so excited to watch the opening ceremony with you and your sister just like he did when he was a little boy. They were canceled because of COVID-19. This is only the fourth time the Olympics have been canceled since they began in 1896. 

This summer has been so much fun with you. You drool like a crazy person and your giggles have turned into full-on belly laughs. You learned how to roll from your belly to your back and have discovered your feet, which are very funny. We put you in the baby swing for the first time and you had no reaction at all, but you do think Daddy is hilarious and you love watching him play cars with your sister. Your baby mohawk and your laughs are two of the greatest things in this world. You give me hope.

August-September 2020

Record-breaking wildfires ignited by severe thunderstorms and made worse by climate change have been tearing through the western portion of our country. Our friends and family on the west coast have to stay indoors because the air is too difficult and dangerous to breathe. Some have packed bags in case they need to evacuate their homes. It feels like everything is out of control.

You are growing so fast, sweet boy. You started eating baby food and are trying so hard to sit up on your own. We went on your first hike (you hated it) and so many walks, which you love. You created your first piece of art and I have decided that you have the sensitive soul of a creator. We went on your first trip to the zoo and your eyes lit up watching the blue penguins splash and dive in the water. Watching you makes my eyes light up like wildfires. You give me hope.

Nov. 3, 2020

Election Day. We live in a country divided, but we came together and had the biggest voter turnout for an election since 1900. One day I will explain to you the importance of this election. Just know that it is a big one and Mommy and Daddy casted their votes with you and your sister in mind. Today brought a lot of anxiety for me.

We just celebrated your first Halloween a few days ago. Your sister asked to be Jasmine, so we made you the Genie dressed in all blue. Your hair and cheeks were made for this role. You’ve figured out how to scoot yourself around in a circle and you divide your time between drumming on anything you can find and knocking things over – both are thoroughly entertaining. I have loved watching your personality shine. You give me hope.

Nov. 7, 2020

History has been made today as the election was called and belongs to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, our 46th President and Vice President. I choked back tears when I heard the news. Joe Biden is the oldest president to ever be elected and Kamala Harris is the first woman and first person of color to be Vice President. 

Today was your baptism. It was a beautiful day full of sunshine and even though we had to keep our distance from our family, we were together. You looked so handsome in your little baby button-up. I choked back tears as you were welcomed into our church. You give me hope.

Jan. 6, 2021

There was an attack on our Capitol today. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. I was glued to the TV all afternoon thinking about our country and its people. Thinking about you. I felt helpless and hopeless.

Your first Christmas and New Year’s just flew by. Your eyes were glued to all of the lights and decorations. You learned how to “booty scoot” to get around. You wave and clap. You say “dada” and “yay” and are working on “mama.” You got your first teeth and finally learned how to roll from your back to your belly and started crawling on Christmas Eve. You brought us so much joy this holiday season. You give me hope.

Jan. 20, 2021

Inauguration Day. Baby boy, you will never remember a day when there had never been a woman in the White House. Today is monumental. Our country is still divided. Our country is still in the middle of a global pandemic. Our country is lost. But today, a woman was sworn into the White House for the very first time. I hope you grow up thinking that seeing women in positions of power is normal. While progress can feel so good, it’s only progress. Son, there is still so much work to be done.

I can’t believe you are a 1-year-old now! My, how you’ve grown. You are pulling up and cruising around furniture. You are so curious but would prefer to be playing with whatever your sister is playing with. You say “hi,” “uh-oh” and “that” as you point to everything in the room. I could get lost in your eyes, in your smile, in the curves of your face and the curl of your hair. Oh sweet boy, one day I will explain to you the history you have lived through. I’ll tell you the story of the first year of your life and how you barely even left the house. I’ll tell you about how, somehow, nothing happened and everything happened simultaneously. I’ll tell you that it was hard and exhausting and trying. But most of all, I’ll tell you that you gave me hope.


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