April 15, 2011. Josie turned 18 months. Just around that time, I noticed our tulips in the backyard were starting to bloom. I love those tulips because they're beautiful and I love thinking about my mom and sister secretly planting them while I was at work several years ago. As I noticed the flowers, I recalled taking Josie's picture on April 15th the year before. The day she turned 6 months old. She had just started sitting up by herself and I remember being very excited to place her next to the flowers to commemorate this milestone and her half birthday. So this year, in honor of that memory, we took Josie's picture by the tulips. It's hard to see, but she's holding two tiny decorative eggs. That was the only way we got her to sit still, if only for a moment. And yes, she's not wearing shoes. I guess I'm that kind of mother. :-)
After taking this picture, I decided to pull up the one we took this time last year. I had no idea I was about to open the flood gates. I saw this little schmunchkin (sound it out if the word doesn't look familiar, it's very easy to say and fits the description perfectly) looking back at me on the computer and I started crying. Hard. I started crying very hard just at the sight of this little bear. My little bear. She's so little. And even though I wouldn't trade the Josie I have today (the chatter, the running, the laughing, the hyper-wrestle-mania munchkin), I started thinking about just how much I miss this little 6 month old. I didn't realize you could miss someone right in front of you. But you can. I'm sure I'll feel this way every year for the rest of her life.
My little baby.