Whoever gave you permission to start growing into a little girl, please kindly ask that they slow it down a bit. And that they run it by me first, so I have time to hold on to the memories of your baby-ness. Thank You.
We passed the one year mark together. “Oh Wow!” as your friend Sula Pearl would say. Can it be that I will now chart the course of my own mortality by your passing years? For mine no longer matter. You are my forever youth, the brown-eyed girl who used to fear nothing, lying on my back in the mattress of grass, the blades of which I’d hold between my thumbs and blow through. A makeshift whistle of sorts. I was intrigued. I see that little girl in you and yet I notice your patchwork personality, the unique variance of your colors and threads. Kaia, forgive me as I blanket myself in your love. I am your Mama and I need you.
Isn’t it strange, my love, that you needed me so much recently. But now that you are walking, finding your own steady ground, you have become more independent. And now I need you. Or perhaps I just yearn for the reassurance that you will always come back to my arms, my ready lap, the place on my hips carved just for you.
The days that pass reveal the quickly-firing nuerons and pathways of your growing mind. You have taken to signing suddenly, adding “more”, “eat”, “cat”, “puppy”, “flower”, “book”, and “bath” to your repetoire. I am stunned at your abilities. Help me to always keep my ability to be grateful.
Tonight, I decided to test your comprehension, because I know you know so much. So, as you walked towards some toys, I said in my sing-songy voice “I’ll see you in the mooooorrrning”. You turned, smiled, and waddled towards your “I’ll See You in the Morning” book, our nightly ritual read. You laughed and picked it up off the table, opening it. Right on, sister. Right on.
You are my girl, because you are also obsessed with trying on shoes and jewelry. You walk naked around the house with a string of turquoise beads around your neck. Grams is worried they will choke you, but I always watch you. With my help, you try on your sparkly pink, plastic princess heels and clop-clop around on the kitchen floor. You get pretty mad when they fall off.
So great is your enthusiasm for adorning your neck that once, you emerged from my closet with my underwear around your neck and strutted through the room talking about it. Thongs, no less. Dirly ones. Ohhh yeah.
Eggs are your favorite meal. Eggs, scrambled, with spinach and tomatoes and cheese mixed in. Before they are even on your highchair tray, you sign and say “More, More, More”. You stuff them in your mouth like Cookie Monster.
Two nights ago you slept through the night. Triple Gasp! And you would have slept throught the night last night, but you threw up shortly before bed and I knew you’d wake up hungry. You did. Only once, though. Please, my sweet thong-loving girl, say this will become a trend. Mama needs it. So do you. But, I’m okay with you easing into it. I need to ease into it as well because I will miss your fuzzy, soft head against my nose at midnight…the way you curl your legs up into my belly as you nurse and sleep, the deep stretch you do as I lift you into my arms and place you in your crib. Mama wants you so bad to sleep next to me. But you won’t have it. That’s why I look forward to our nightly forays. I haven’t slept a wink in these two nights, too used to hearing your quiet call, waiting…
Waiting for the little baby you’ll never be again. And, well, I’m going to be okay with it. Really. I just wasn’t prepared for the time warped speed at which your toddlerness would emerge.
I love that you learned to hone your walking skills in the homes of my youth, on the exact same brown carpet in which my feet found their own wobbly gait. It seemed fitting. Full circle, they say, but it seems more like a reaaaaalllly oblong circle, one whose edges took a bit of time to meet.
The best part about your walking is now you can waddle over towards me for an actual, full body hug. I squat to your level, and wrap my arms around you tiny form as we melt together. Divinity!
You are laying on your Daddy now, in your pink long-john pajamas. You awoke from your slumber. I guess it’s not a sleeping-through-the-night kind of night tonight. Oh Shucky Darn (wink wink).
I am the luckiest.