Cadence was eight months old on her first Valentine's Day. I decided to take her photo holding the same homemade sign each year on our staircase and send it as a Valentine to friends and family near and far.
It's fun to look at all the pictures at once. The photos say so much about this child: that she is happy; that she stopped wearing jeans after kindergarten; that she would prefer to be shoe-free and sock-less all the time; that she is expressive; that she has a ready smile. More than anything, these photos remind me that this girl has a big heart and knows her own very strong mind.
I am proudest of those two qualities of hers and do everything, as her mother, to foster, cultivate, and encourage those attributes to grow with her.
This year's photo is particularly poignant for me. I feel blessed beyond words that we live in this house, a year after our transition. I knew we would continue this important family tradition wherever we landed, but I am deeply grateful that we get to keep taking the photos in this staircase for years to come.
This Valentine's Day is different from others. My daughter isn't with me this weekend, so her goody bag was waiting for her to open before school on Friday morning. More often than not, Valentine's Day has not been a day of romance for me, but a celebration of love and friendship. It remains the case this year. I am so grateful for the love showered on me by my friends in myriad ways year round.