My little girl has leg hair.
She climbed into my lap last week, long after she should have been sleeping. After holding my phone while half paying attention to her, I put the phone down and soaked her in. Her sweet smell clean from the shower. Her adorable little voice asking to type words on my computer as I was trying to complete a blog post. I normally stop her and shoo her to bed but that time I didn’t. I cuddled with her, let her type, and enjoyed that moment — completely present and aware of this little lady she’s quickly becoming — and then, rubbing her legs, I really saw it. Leg hair. Those gorgeously long legs that where what feels like seconds ago little chunksters are the strong legs of a nearly five-year old. My baby is transforming.
I now shop for her mostly in the big girl zone. You know, the one with the too short shorts, and the too tiny tops. Despite walking by that area for a long time thinking, wow, so many cute things, it now nearly made me tear up thinking my baby girl wearing tutus, letting me pick her outfits, or wanting all things elmo, minnie mouse and princess might be soon fading. She’s not really even a 5T; I’m holding on to that baby/toddler sizing but it’s not working. There’s no turning back.
I love her more each day than the day before. This next line might sound awful, especially since we also have the most amazing, cutest little 11-month old boy, but I’ve realized I’m not such a baby person. I love mine but each age just seems better than the last. Watching their personalities, facial expressions — even the “your crazy mom” ones — and interests emerge each day is fascinating and inspiring. Her passion for building, arts, and gymnastics are beautiful, her smart response to just about anything impressers her cuddles when we read books make my nights, and her love for our son is, I can’t even put it into words. It just radiates in such a powerful way, and her reciprocates with smiles and laughters bigger than anyone else gets. I just feel blessed to witness it.
Even as our girl has become the tallest in her class, with her long legs dangling from me when she’s half asleep, sometimes I love to grab her in my arms, holding her like a baby, and tell her that no matter how big she gets she’ll always be my baby.
We joke that one of my favorite parts of her is that cute tush of hers. Don’t these little ones just have the cutest tushes? Ah! Love. But what age is it not appropriate anymore to grab her cute little baby tush? 25? I hope it’s not for a while. I’m getting my squeezes and tickles in now.
It’s hard to believe how this mother/daughter dynamic is only just emerging, thinking how my mom must have felt years ago and wondering how I’ll feel when I’m her age now and Sarah is in her 30s. I’m lucky that my mom is close by. Can I imagine Sarah and our little man going to college and working beyond Florida? I know they’re still so young but these subtle reminders how they’re growing up — I mean, next year is Kindergarten! — is scary, exciting and a range of other emotions. Being honest, I’m scared enough just thinking about leaving my house by 7:30 am with both kids ready to roll, let alone the actual act of starting elementary school, homework, bigger kids and everything else (editor’s note: I am not a morning person!).
While I’m quite confident that two is this family’s magic number when it comes to kids, I can see how women can get the urge to start the process again. I even see little, little babies and think, wow, our baby boy is nearly 1 (their birthdays are both in November), and realizing that soon he’ll be walking, talking and everything else. There is no teeny tiny baby stages happening again here.
More aware every day that it’s the unexpected moments that resonate for long after that time ends. Here’s to being present so we can be mindful enough to soak them in, before we miss our opportunity.
photo: our girl one year ago, age 4.