Monday, March 24, 2014

The Days of Little

Since the moment I gave birth to my one week late baby girl, I have heard these words:

"Enjoy it. These days will be gone before you know it." 

And I have.

I have enjoyed every single moment so far.

Through the past four years of sleepless nights and mornings that always seem to come too early. Through the crying the ENTIRE time we were in Walmart phase, the potty training phase, and the why-the-crap-are-you-feeding-me-mashed-peas phase. Through the times when we watch the same movie over and over and over and over and over again until I find myself thinking, "If I have to hear Colors of the Wind one more time, I will pull all of my hair out!". Through the bath tub hair washing drama, the "you are the slowest eater in the entire world" dinner wars, and the "Oh my God, I sound like my mother!" lectures.

I have loved it.

Through the middle of the night snuggles where the only place she would sleep was perfectly positioned on my chest. Through the sick days. Through the silly songs we sing in the car, the tea parties, and the endless summer days spent by the pool.  Through learning to swim under water without her floaties. Through her first tooth, her first word, and her first step. Through the nights when "Mommy, can you read me just one more book?" becomes our mantra. Through her first day of preschool, her first sleepover, and her first time going down the slide all by herself.

I have loved it.

Every single moment. Good, bad, hard, or easy. I have loved them all.

And as I watched her spinning on a busy sidewalk at the mall the other day without a care in the world, my heart skipped a beat. I realized that this moment-just like all the ones that came before it-will soon be gone.

Soon my almost five year old beauty queen will be too big to hold my hand in the store, too embarrassed to sing songs with me in the middle of the department store, and too preoccupied to race me from one end of the playground to the other. She won't need me to kiss her boo boo's or say her prayers. She won't want to sleep with me on Wednesday nights or get excited when we wear the same color. She won't be infatuated with my high heels or my jewelry, and dressing up will mean more than slipping her Princess Anna play dress over her jammies.


So very soon.

And as I watched her spinning around and around-her skirt swirling around her leggings, and her long hair floating behind her-I just wanted to push pause. To keep her right there in that moment.

That moment of little.

That moment before she outgrows me. That moment before we're fighting about homework, boys, curfews, and no-you-are-absolutely-not-allowed-to-wear-those-shorts. That moment before her first date, her first kiss, and her first broken heart. That moment before she begins the battle to be skinnier, prettier, and smarter. That moment before her first encounter with a mean girl, a demanding boss, or those boys who only want one thing. That moment before she has to fight for acceptance and learn how to find herself in world that can be anything but kind.

Those moments that will make me wish for days just like these.

The days of little.

The days that show me that no matter how exhausting and challenging motherhood can be, these are the days I will cling too. The days I will remember as an old woman sitting on my porch drinking tea. The days I will remember proudly as my greatest accomplishments.

These are my days-my moments.

These moments of  watching her spin on a busy sidewalk on perfectly gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

And today, I am incredibly grateful for them.

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