time is such a tricky little bitch. how is it that you turn around and your baby is about to cross the threshold into womanhood? i look at her and i know her soul. i know who she is on the inside, but this creature that stands before me is as foreign to me as skydiving. looking at her makes my belly flop just the same. she is a lovely picture. so long and lean and sure of who she will be and who she is. there is nothing of the chubby baby that would only nap in my lap. long gone are the days of making her tell me all of the animal sounds she knows….over and over again….cuz her little voice was yummy enough to eat.
how did this happen? how did we get here? i feel like rip van winkle. i know i was here all the while, but it feels like i am wiping the sleep from my eyes and she is a new person.
i knew that this would happen. i couldn’t keep her a baby forever. i have enjoyed most every step that led us here, even though i clearly have missed a bunch. when you hold that new little life in your hands for the first or hundredth time, you can’t imagine what a dozen years in the future will look like.
i am most amazed that this new place hurts a little. while i embrace the girl she is and welcome the woman she will become, i can’t help but mourn for the baby that she was. she is my first. she gave me the title that i so embrace. i know that much will never change. i know that she will always need me. i know it because i still lean on my own mother.
yet still, i can’t help but shed a tear. i’ve done my job and got her here, but…..here we are. i can close my eyes and see those squeezable cheeks. without effort i can recall the little fingers as they wrapped around mine while we walked down the sidewalk. she still holds my hand, but ours are the same size.
what i have left are those big blue eyes. they are my babies eyes and they still look at me with adoration, and that will have to be enough.