Good-bye sweet girl.
These are the words that were silently spoken by my heart this morning as I watched my daughter leave for school.
I stood there, from our front door, watching her walk away. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. The chilly air kissed my face and my bare feet were planted on the cold, wet concrete steps. My heart felt like it was stuck in my throat and tears, like prisoners, tried escaping down my cheek. All at once it felt like a decade had passed me by in the blink of an eye.
Today my baby is 10.
I remember the days, they don’t seem all that long ago now, when I would find myself dreaming of a time when my kids would be more independent. I remember anticipating the days where all three of my children would be able to feed themselves, get dressed on their own, and do basic hygiene without any help from their mama. And I realize, a little despairingly now, that my dreams have come true.
Looking at her I see both the little girl she still is and the young woman she’s becoming. She’s caught in between two worlds right now, balancing them as best she can. There are times when she laughs and her single side dimple takes center stage and a rush of images of her as a toddler comes sweeping over me. She had the craziest curly hair that was somewhat unruly, usually finding its way out of her clip or pony and falling promptly over eyes. At one point her nose actually turned orange due to all the orange colored fruits and vegetables she consumed, which only added to her wild look. She has always been my brave, spirited, eclectic old soul.
I remember holding her for the very first time, soaking in all of her delicate features, inhaling the sweet scent of newborn, and feeling like our family was finally complete. I remember when the doctor announced it was a girl, I turned to Aaron and asked him if it was true, as if somehow needing him to verify it. He nodded his head at me, a gentle smile forming and tears beginning to well up in his eyes and I jut came undone. It felt like the journey we had been on to create our family, to carve out our own little tribe in this world, was somehow finally complete.
The only thing that keeps this mama heart from snatching all three of my kiddos up and trying to defy time by keeping them with me for ALL OF THE DAYS, is the richness these past years have brought with them. Each stage, each season, has had its own unique challenges, yes, but also its own rewards. We are currently in a season where all of my children are developing their own sense of humor. These children of mine are actually quite funny!!! For someone who values laughter as much as I do, I consider this our new sweet spot. The highlight of the last two weeks for my husband and I has been a series we now refer to as: The Swimming Saga, where my oldest recounts interesting and hilarious highlights from his swimming class. He’s got a whole bit on it and it’s hilarious.
So while the days of rocking my babies to sleep is behind me, I am working on learning to embrace this new season and all that it has to offer. Watching my baby girl morph into a young woman is bittersweet. There are moments that catch on my heart and cause me to unravel. But honestly, I think that’s okay. I think it’s a sign that we’re loving well. So I will say good-bye to you each morning that you head out the door sweet girl and welcome all the days ahead.