From 6 pounds to 6 years in about 66 seconds
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It was only yesterday or so it seems, that you were born. A small, red wrinkled thing that cried a lot and never wanted to be put down.
The weeks after we first brought you home were difficult. I had read numerous baby-care books cover-to-cover but none had prepared me for the physical, mental and emotional toil known as motherhood.
The moment I laid eyes on you, I was completely in love. It was so overwhelming and unexpected. I never dreamed such a thing could be possible. Though I had loved, intensely, for many years, I had no idea my heart was capable of even more. So much more. Limitless, boundless love. Love that I know I would lay down my life to protect without a second thought.
August 17, 2003
I remember in the beginning counting your age first in days, then weeks, then eventually months. Even after your first birthday, you were “15-months-old” or “21-months-old.”
Years didn’t really seem to matter. Years were a far-off milestone. Distant. Too far away to worry about.
Until you were two.
And then you started to do all kinds of amazing things: go down the slide all alone and go to school and get dressed by yourself.
Years, oddly, seemed to pass even more rapidly than months. Suddenly, you were three.
Now, six years later – you are so very, very different from that crying, red, wrinkled baby we brought home from the hospital. You are a girl who writes her name and reads. Who loves horses and dolls. Who plays nicely with your sister (most of the time). A girl who likes to help me weed the garden and can name most of the plants in it. A girl who knows what partially-hyrdogenated oil is and asks if something has trans fat in it before eating it.
You, my love, are a full-fledged big girl. You are:
A silly girl . . .
A happy girl . . .
A clever girl . . .
A beauty . . .
There are moments when I look at you and I still see the baby you were six years ago today. It is often a fleeting thing, like the flash of a firefly. Sometimes I’m not even sure I’ve seen it. Most times, I’ve probably only wished I did.
When I do, it is both a gift and a hardship: A gift to view such a clear path to the past. A hardship to know it is gone.
I need to remind myself that you still have a long way to go. Your small feet still slide and clunk around when you play dress up with my shoes. You still need to stand on a step stool to brush your teeth and you still have trouble buckling your own booster seat sometimes.
But soon, before I know it, six more years will have gone by and you’ll be 12, then 18, then 24. And while I have no doubt that each passing year will bring new joys and experiences to treasure, a piece of me will always long, always pine, always yearn for the baby you once were.
August 17, 2009
Happy birthday, baby girl!