There she was.
My tiny girl in an oversized red gown and black cap made out of cardboard and paper.
She was clutching her daddy's hand and looking around excitedly at the teacher and the other small ones in red gowns that swirled around her.
My heart paused and my breath caught deep within my chest at the very sight of her.
When did this happen?
I'm almost positive I missed it. I must have blinked.
Wasn't it just yesterday she was curled up on my chest during one of our many sleepless nights or perched perfectly on my hip while I made dinner? I mean, I could of sworn I just took her out of her bouncy seat or pulled her from the bucket of water she had been playing in at Grandma's in her diaper?
She can't possibly be big enough to be done with preschool and onto kindergarten?
Yes. I'm afraid she is.
My little strawberry blonde princess who sings Frozen songs to me in the car, who adores all of her stuffed animals but hardly ever names them, and who considers her puppy Diesel and her cousin Noah to be her best friends is doing exactly what my heart has begged her over and over again NOT to do.
She's growing up on her Mama.
Kindergarten will be here before we know it, and then the rest of her life will follow shortly behind her.
There will be new teachers to meet, and childhood friends to make. There will be an eighth grade graduation. There will be dances, her first kiss, and a driver's license. There will be a high school graduation and a dorm room. There will be a wedding day and a little girl who is now a woman. She'll no longer be holding his hand, but clutching his arm as he walks her steadily down the aisle toward her future.
Yes, there will be all of these moments and more moments just like them.
Moments just like the one that was right before me last night in the foyer of that Methodist church.
And so, I took a mental picture of her holding his hand in her oversized gown.
I coached myself to take a breath and I whispered to my heart, "Don't blink. Don't miss this. Remember this moment, because it's the only one like it that you going get." And with that, I joined the chaos. The fleeting moment that we would never, ever get back.
The fleeting moment with pictures as our only proof.
Don't blink, sweet Mama.
This will all be gone before you know it.