You turned one year old today, Ems. We waited nine months to meet you and your arrival instantly altered the course of our lives. Your mom and I have spent the last year falling more and more in love with your infectious giggle, your Coney-Island-hot-dog-eating-contest-like appetite, your animal noises which all seem to sound like the same jungle cat, the fact that it appears like you're imitating me, but there's a good chance you're actually poking fun at me. It's just the way your dad would do it.
What you don't yet know is how much I admire you, Emily. You have no idea what's ahead. Right now, you couldn't care less that in just over a year, you'll go through a horribly complex surgery that will put you in a lower body cast for six weeks. You couldn't possibly fathom what it's going to feel like when you have to go through three separate, painful procedures to help that right leg catch up to your left. You just keep smiling. And you keep making other people smile. You make it impossible not to.
In one year, you have taught me more about inner strength, resiliency and courage than I could have ever imagined. But you're just getting started, aren't you?
Thank you, Emily. Thank you for everything you have given us. Thank you for being you.
Happy Birthday, Ems. Daddy loves you.