My First Granddaughter’s First Birthday

El. at one year old

Dear El.,

Happy First Birthday!! In some ways it seems that you are the gift to us and it is our birthday! You are such a treasure of cuteness, determination, laughter, and have the charm that most babies your age have. I was so thrilled when your parents named you El., because your name was chosen partly because my name starts with an “El” too. Elaine is my middle name and comes from the Greek word Elena, which means “shining light.”

Your name means elm tree in the old English or Gaelic language. The elm trees came into being about 20 million years ago. Now they can live to be 300 years old. So maybe with your name you will live a good, healthy, long life too.

What an exciting year it has been. Even though you were born in July last year, because of Covid, I didn’t get to see you until September at a playground where your brothers could run and play. I wore my mask and your parents handed you to me. I didn’t want to hold you for long to protect you from any cold or virus I might have just been exposed to accidentally. Then I got my 2 vaccines the following March and April and I finally got to hold you and see you in person at your mommy and daddy’s house.

I have so enjoyed talking with you on the phone camera when I talk with your mother and brothers. You smile at me and sometimes I sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” song to you. You seemed to recognize me much earlier though, which makes me happy that you know I am your MaHa. Although you were a little shy, when you were very young, you smiled and responded to me. Thanks to FaceChat I could see you and your family even though we couldn’t get together very much because of the distance between our homes. I had back problems then and wasn’t sure I could drive even an hour for a while.

You have just recently been able to stand on your own and take some steps holding on to the couch or a hand. So it will be fun to walk with you and play in the yard later when you can walk better or run. I did get to see you about a month before this birthday. I got in the swimming pool with your brothers, mother and daddy. Your Gramashouse held you after you had already been in the pool.

I am so excited to see you grow and become the girl, teenager, young woman and maybe older woman (if I live that long and I just may). Your mother has set a wonderful example of what a woman can be: intelligent, independent, strong, wise, loving, a great wife and mother and daughter to her mother and to me. You may become a different person from your mother and that’s fine too. We all, as daughters, take on characteristics and mannerisms of both parents and sometimes our grandmothers too. But we also become ourselves with our own unique slant or take on who we want to be and what we want to do with our lives.

I have already seen you able to assert yourself some when one brother or another takes something from you that you are playing with. I also have seen you being very slow to wake up from sleeping and even irritable when overstimulated until you get good and awake. This just means you need time to wake up from naps and that is perfectly normal.

I look forward to continuing to watch you grow, learn, and deal with two older brothers, who love you very much but have never had a sister until you were born. They were so excited!

I am so thankful and happy that you are healthy, loving, playful, and sweet. I am also thankful you have two parents who love you so much and I know two brothers and two grandmothers, and other family members who also love you.

Be good to yourself as you grow up. Look for the good things about your personality and your talents and help them grow and continue to improve. You are going to be a fantastic human being who is loved by all of your family.

Love, Hugs, and Kisses,


7 thoughts on “My First Granddaughter’s First Birthday

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