Where do I even begin... Your first year with us has been full, oh so full. Full of 'new', full of baby, full of therapy, full of doctors, full of wonder, full of discovery, full of hope. At the center is you, glorious you.
When we first brought you home from the hospital, Maddux and Eli were enamoured and totally interested in your every move and sound. I thought that would wear off at some point, but it hasn't. They want to see you the minute they get home from school, they want to hug or kiss you as soon as you are in the same air space as them, they want to be touching you any chance they get. In fact, when asking Maddux if she wanted to do the 1-week or 2-week sleep away camp, she told me, "Two weeks is too long. I'd miss Ruby."
You have such an effect on everyone around you. This last year has found a group of admirers (Team Ruby) rallying, following, supporting and loving you, every step along the way. I even had to create a Team Ruby Facebook page because the requests for photos and videos of you was filling up my feed. Your smile, your hard-work, your sweet spirit has captivated everyone who comes in contact with you, even if only through the computer.
Most of all, you've changed us, your family. You have made Maddux a big sister which is a role she was absolutely made fore. You have allowed Eli to be a big brother in a way he wasn't able to be with Maddux because of their closeness in age. You have given your Dad the opportunity to dote on another little girl, which is so fortunate for both of you because he is the best daddy, especially for you and Maddux.
And you have trained me to be a physical, speech and occupational therapist. You've trained me to look at every moment of my day in a very different way; I thought I was efficient with my time before, but you've shown me that every moment counts when it comes to working with and loving you. We have such a strong bond, you and I, and I know it's greatly due to the amount of work you put in each day with me. Yes, I'm present for the work, but you are the one pushing me to find new ways to challenge you with your therapy; you are such a determined little rock star!
You're training me to be an advocate. And to be more accepting of differences in others that scare me. Before you, I had never really interacted with kids with special needs. I definitely had a fear associated with saying or doing the wrong thing... A year later, I'm drawn towards kids with Down syndrome. I seek them out in a crowd, and when they are within reach at Gigi's, I grab them for a snuggle. How you have changed me, Ruby. I'm constantly finding myself in contact with parents new to the diagnosis and I enjoy being able to show them the amazing ride they are in for. All because of you.
Happy Birthday, Ruby!!
1 day old!
1 year old