vent sesh: growing up, growing fast

October 9, 2014

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.

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  • Kimberly

    Loved this post and it completely resonated with me as I’m watching my 10-year old daughter transition into junior’s clothing and (gasp) wear a bra! Part of me swells with pride as I see her gain her independence and learn her strengths, but it’s also hard to watch because I remember the little girl I once had and no longer can I pick her up and carry her to bed :(

  • Heidi D.

    Loved reading this! My little girl is about to turn 5 and is also the tallest in her class and I cannot believe the transformation in her lately. My baby she is no more:(

  • Cory

    I have two daughters and this post beautifully expresses everything I feel for them. So exciting/crazy/magical/terrifying to watch them grow up.

  • Dianna

    So sweet, Alyson! I have a feeling I’ll be just like you in terms of not really being into the baby thing {which is a little scary since I’m weeks away from having one!}, but I am trying to remember that it’s all so fleeting that I should really try to enjoy each moment. What a great reflection to share with your girl one day.

  • ashleigh

    Ah! The transition! I am in the same boat. When London was seven, she still wore a 5T (6/xs in big-girl clothes) and I still bought 5t. Till she complained! She said I was buying her “baby” clothes, and so I was. Even though they were technically the same size, the 6/xs didn’t have Dora or Minnie. They had Monster High (I ABHOR THOSE DOLLS) Hello Kitty, Barbie. They were sequined and pleather (for children!) leggings. So we switched. Now she’s 8, almost 9, and in a size 7, the smallest girl in her class, but I had to buy her a Bra. There was definite NEED of a bra, and I am FREAKING out. (On the other side where you are, she’s always had fuzzy blond down on her legs as long as I can remember. She’s hairy like her Dad lol.) I’m having nightmares of teenage her being tiny (like I was) and stacked (like the females in his family.) Boys will come sniffing…
    I’m not ready for this either. So I snuggle her on my lap (her wearing the new bra, do not get me started at the inappropriate bras Target offers little girls) and smell her little girl scent and kiss the top of her head, and hope she loves me as much as she does right now forever.

  • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen

    Oh I can SO relate to this! It’s like Emerson started kindergarten and aged overnight. I’m totally treasuring the times she still lets me snuggle her and call her baby because they are becoming more rare. But gosh, how I love watching her develop into her own unique and independent person!

  • DC Celine

    I can’t bear it, either. While part of me wants her to be big enough to go do big girl things with me (and yes, I push it, ahem, billy idol). But then she curls up in bed and puts her tushy in the air like the infant her did, and I melt. I tell her she’s my baby all. the. time. Don’t stop.

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