Your first year has been so different from your brother's. You see, life has been unfair to you this year. Like your brother, your life is also touched by autism. Not in the same way as Moe, at least we don't think so. But when someone in the family has autism, we all feel its effects.
During Moe's first year, I took him to Gymboree. You played at home during his Occupational Therapy sessions.
I took Moe to playdates in the park with other babies. You played at home with behavioral therapists.
Moe and I went to Mommy & Me lunches and took long walks to go shopping, while you stayed home and observed speech therapy.
I suppose in many ways, this is the fate of a second child, tagging along to your big brother's activities. But so much of this year has been anything but usual, anything but what I wanted or expected this year to be.
But here's the thing about you, Jelly Belly: you're doing just great. You are such a happy little girl. You love hanging out with your mommy and your brother, who you think is the coolest thing since Cheerios. You have a smile (with four teeth!) for everyone you see, though you still cling to me around new people. I'm amazed at the things you can do already, like showing me everything you pick up, feeding your baby doll, and imitating every sound I make. You're already starting to talk and use sign language, things you've probably learned from hanging around Moe and all these people coming to play with him six hours a day.
So I hope you had a great first year, Jelly. It was a rough one for me, but it would have been so much darker without you.