My daughter turned five in January. I think I have to say it again. My daughter turned five in January.

The tick-tock of the clock appear in her face, in her eyes and in her smile. I look at this particular picture again and again, and I am having trouble keeping my composure. There is a genuine quality to this happiness, the particular sparkle that radiates from her eyes. Until I met her, I never knew this kind of happiness. When I am around her, I feel it.  She doesn’t do in-between. She really feels. She laughs with such deep conviction, it sometimes, if I think about it for even a second, moves me to tears. It happens when I say funny things to her, like de-da-do-da and she collapses onto a heap on the floor, the laughter cushions her fall on the carpet. Sometimes we lay together and she asks me to cuddle with her and I tickle her in the middle of her belly and there it is again. Her infectious, joyous laughter. It’s unmistakable. And she always wants me to witness it.

I don’t know when this will pass. But I know it will. These days her comfort is and in her mother. When I am in the house and she can’t see me, I hear her loud voice echo through the house, with one word,  “Momma.” I answer back, saying, “Yes.” And then with a deep breath, she says, “I was just checking on you.” You heard it right, she checks on me.

She loves being in my company and just a few seconds of separation causes her unbelievable angst. When I leave for a meeting or an outing, she rushes to the door, gives me a kiss on the cheek, and says these words, “I love you and I will miss you so much Momma.” I always tell her I will be back soon. Her eyes brew tears even before my car has pulled out of the garage. When she comes home from school, one of the first questions she asks, is “Are you going to a meeting today Momma?” When I say no, the laughter spills out of her body that I can’t help but laugh too.

Some days her attachment is confining because I don’t always understand it. Her angst over me not being there with her all of the time can be irritating, but it is part of her. There is a rawness, both in her laughter and her tears.

I know these are the days I will miss. When I will wish that she was just checking on me.

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Are there moments that you witness that you know you will miss? Does the rawness of your children’s emotions surprise you?

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