**This is from earlier, in November, and it never got posted.
From my 11-month-old (today!!).
1. Never, ever give up. Things might take longer, they might be more difficult than you thought they would, but they will, with time and effort, happen. If one wants to suck one's toes, one eventually will.
2. If you're open to giving love, you'll get love back. I've never met a person who didn't love Julia.
3. Embrace the joy of life. Joy and wonder are two of the elements that characterize both childhood and the holiday season. How sad that, as we get older, we trudge through life and often lose both.
4. Be yourself. That is what makes you so radiant and compelling. Trying to be anyone else is futile.
5. It's not always loud people who win out. Julia is probably the most quiet child in daycare, and/but everyone just adores her.
6. Practice foregiveness and grace. We hold on to so many things as adults: things that keep us from relationships, from spiritual freedom, from living the life we were meant to live. If I bonk Jules on the head by mistake, she knows I didn't mean to and lets it go.
7. Family is important. Often, we forget how much our parents did for us until we ourselves have a little one. It makes me grateful for all of the gifts I've been given, and I hope my family (both immediate and by marriage) knows how much I treasure them.
8. It is okay to be "slow." It just means you're taking the time to do things right.
9. People are less judgemental than I thought. Every day, people surprise me, not just with their kindness, but also with their acceptance. Often, I learn that it is I who was being judgemental of them.
10. Take a leap. I was so scared when we decided to have a child, and even more scared when I found out that our child is "different." But that Nike slogan holds true: "just do it." I've learned that most of our fears, our anxieties, our feelings of inadequacy, go away when we take a leap, whether it be in career, in marriage or, in this case, in choosing to have a family. There is no wrong path, and we learn invaluable lessons from every path we choose.
That's all for today, but I'll be posting soon about Julia's very first Christmas and, then, about her first birthday! How time flies.