Something disturbing has been happening in this household recently and I can’t ignore it any more. You see, a few years ago I had a baby — it seems both forever ago, as she’s always been here, but also like it must have been last week — and I cannot now find that baby.
Here she is:
You see her? She’s sleeping soundly beside me on the couch, taking up less room than one full cushion on our love seat. I often place her there, until she figured out how to roll and it was no longer safe. Then she started walking and she had to reach up above her head to hold my hand.
She could barely see over the coffee table.
And even though we knew she was big for her age, she was always so little.
I guess it was happening gradually and I only sort of noticed. But then I walked downstairs and she was spread out on the couch and she was stretched from one end to the other. I look at her and I see a difference in her face. There are moments when it hits me right in the heart that she’s growing up and it’s happening faster than I was prepared for.
There are the good things – she can take herself to the bathroom, dress herself, make her own snacks. She’s got activities of her own, and friends she loves. We can have conversations and laugh together. She loves school and she’s a good learner.
She has her own personality. She is a person now.
We are rapidly getting to that place where I won’t be able to pick her up any more.
We are getting to a place where we have to have more serious conversations because she is able to do more things on her own.
We are getting to a place where I am reminded, when I notice the rapidity of her growing up, that soon she won’t want or need me around as much, and then at all. And my heart starts missing her already.
Even though I can still sneak into her room after she’s asleep and pull her covers over her and kiss her forehead, and she might wake up just a little bit and smile because she knows her mommy is there.