A Naming Ceremony to remember

A year has flown by and its simultaneously hard to imagine a life before our baby girl was born but also that she has been here a year already!

We wanted to plan a beautiful celebration to mark the Little Inspiration's 1st birthday but also to celebrate her birth so we combined a Naming Ceremony with a little soiree at home.

The ceremony was conducted by a humanist celebrant and held in a little community orchard in our village under a sun dappled tree.

We wrote the ceremony ourselves by describing her birth story and what she means to each of us and her guide parents said their wishes and hopes out loud for our precious girl.

The small gathering of loved ones then walked back through the village to our cottage where we had a sunny garden party complete with sparkly rainbow cake and lots of playing with sand and water.

Baby friends of the Little Inspiration and mummies I've met over the last year dropped by to enjoy the celebration, as well as old friends and family members.

Our girl had the best day ever with all of her favourite people and so did we. As the day drew to a close and the last visitors left we snuggled in on the garden sofa, just the three of us, and recounted a tale full of emotion that has led us to our baby girl's first year on this earth and our hopes for the years beyond.

We invited guests to bring photos, letters and poems to put in a time capsule for her that we buried the next day and will dig up on the eve of her 18th birthday.

A letter to my baby girl on her 1st and 18th birthday

On the eve of your 1st birthday I can’t help but feel emotional thinking of this time last year.

I spent 9 months wondering all about you whilst you grew in my tummy. Excited to find out what you looked like and what traits you had picked up from us both.

I’d rub my belly and talk to you every day, describing our little countryside walks and what I could see, as well as telling you how loved you were already.

In the early hours, 40 weeks and 4 days later, I felt nerves about what was to come with labour, excitement about becoming a mummy and amazed that soon I would meet you. A tiny human we had made and I’d grown in my tummy.

That moment, at 11.31am, when after an 8 hour labour, I finally brought you into the outside world,
I stared down at this beautiful soul and fell in love.

I was in disbelief that someone so perfect was in my arms after all this time. So perfectly pure and ours.

I’ve learnt a lot over the last year and lost a lot of sleep (little monkey). Together we have navigated the early newborn days, finding ways to get over our language barrier and talking in giggles and cuddles.

I have tried to guide you and show you how to master new skills but you were ahead of the game.

Rolling at 10 weeks, feeding yourself at 6 months, crawling at 7 months, talking at 8 months and walking at 9 months.

Your interest in the world shows as you make eye contact with every person you meet and flash them the broadest smile.

I see people gasp as they are astounded by this sunny, happy baby and for those few moments you make their day better, as you do mine everyday.

As I drag my tired body out of bed night or morning, as soon as I see you the tiredness melts away. I hold you, so precious, in my arms and find myself thinking just how blessed I am.

You have brought daddy and I so much joy, love and laughter and cemented us as a family.

We are looking forward to exploring the world through your eyes, showing you how amazing but how fragile this planet is. How small actions from the many make big differences.

On the eve of your 1st and 18th birthday, our hopes and wishes for you include:

That you’ll love to learn about the world around you and keep your curiosity throughout your life.

That travel may broaden your horizons as it has ours.

That you’ll remember how important it is to play and be playful. Life can be hard at times but smiles
and laughter can get you through.

That you’ll take each day and each step as it comes, choosing to see the big picture but be present
in each moment. No matter what, it will all be ok, really it will.

That you are brave and have the courage to go after your hopes and dreams. Tune in to what your
heart desires, find your passions and talents and really go for it. We are right behind you sweetheart.

That you’ll be kind, caring and compassionate to yourself and those around you. A little bit of kindness goes a long way in this world. Spread that message to those who have not been taught it.

That you’ll always feel love, find love and show love. It really is the only thing that matters ultimately.

I hope you always know how utterly loved you are by your family and that gives you the self esteem
you need to never let the little knocks of life keep you down long.

That you will make your mark on the world, either as a doctor, an artist, a scientist, a florist, a singer or running your own business. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it makes you happy and you can excel at it.

That you’ll always know how much I wished for you, dreamed of you and doted on you. You are and will forever be my greatest achievement and you make me proud every day.

There are many more hopes and dreams that I have for you and many that we’ll discover together over the years. The biggest hope I have is that you will always follow your heart and be happy.

So today on your first birthday, we’ll celebrate your birth, that incredible day we met you. We’ll enjoy your naming ceremony and plant your special rose. We’ll make memories with grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and friends, and capture it in your time capsule for you to look at when you are 18.

I hope it brings you smiles and that it shows you the mark you have already made on this world and
how you have enriched all of our lives.

I suppose I should end there as I can hear you shouting ‘dada’ at the top of your lungs downstairs and we have a very special birthday to celebrate.

Love you all the world baby girl

Mama xxxx

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