Yesterday my daughter slipped down from the couch and jumped in the middle of the living room and said, “Momma, guess what? Do you know I am growing up?” Her smile was vibrant, her eyes sparkled with a sense of accomplishment. I didn’t answer her question because by saying yes, I’d have to acknowledge that time is moving forward.
I still remember her kicking me inside of my belly. She danced in there, especially on my road trips between Waco to Dallas. I would sing to music to make the highway drive go faster and I could tell that she rocked it out in my stomach by all of the flip-flops I felt inside me.
Those days are a memory. Now I watch her dance. In the last few weeks, I’ve caught her meshing together moves with her feet and arms, and I watch as a carefree energy envelops her. And I’ve witnessed other grown-up actions. She picks out her own clothes. She combs her own hair. She brushes her teeth. She puts her plate and glass in the kitchen sink when her breakfast is finished. She says words like transportation and fragile and skills.
It sometimes sends me into panic mode, watching her evolve into a young little girl. So many times I want to say stop. Let us linger in this moment, where you still may need me. Where you still want to kiss my cheek and give me impromptu hugs. Where the space that feels the most comfortable to you is the one that has me in it.
It’s not stopping. I know it. As she went to bed yesterday, she told me, “Momma, I know that unicorns aren’t real.”
I wanted to say. Yes, honey, I know they aren’t real too.
But I said nothing. My sigh held back my tears. I said under my breath, she is growing up.
When did you realize that your child was growing up? Are you comforted or distressed by the passing of time? What will you miss the most when your child does grow up?