Was it yesterday I was in full panic mode, driving you home from the hospital after a month-long stay? Was it yesterday I was watching you do tummy time under your butterfly themed play mat when you magically rolled over for the first time? No, it was just about yesterday when I packed you up in your brand new outfit and backpack, ready to send you to school for the first time.
You cried a little and I didn’t (on the outside). A few days in, I was down to little waves goodbye as you were led away into the school by your teacher. I cried a little then. You were hitting this HUGE milestone that hurt me the most: When you didn’t need me to make it better.
These milestones are hitting faster and harder than ever. You can go to the potty by yourself without needing my help. You can climb in and out of the tub without my hand. You can put your own PJs on. You’ve started sleeping in your own bed some nights, but I am lonely without you. I miss baby snores and cuddles when you have a nightmare. I miss wrapping you up like a burrito in your towel and carrying you from the tub to the changing table (that you don’t even need anymore.)
You’re growing up right before my eyes and it seems to be happening faster and faster. I take you to the same places I took you when you were barely one, and now you are running around and truly enjoying these things that once were just enjoyable for me. YOU ARE A PERSON. I know you’re still little. I know it will only get harder. I dread the last day I pick you up in my arms as my little girl. One day I won’t pick you up at all.
Some day, you’ll have your own family, your own career and your own life. You’ll need me in a different way. I know that when you have your own kids some day, you’ll feel this way too and I wish I could keep that hurt and ache in the pit of your stomach away from you, but I can’t.
For now, I will just enjoy all of you. All of the ouchies. All of the kisses. All of the baby snores and snuggles when you get nightmares. I’ll count your tiny eyelashes and capture every milestone for you. I’ll try to remember where you started as much as I remember now how far you’ve come.
Featured photo: Bow: Duke and Duchess Boutique, Shirt: Old Navy, Leggings: Cat and Jack. Chicago, Illinois.