I loved those first days in the hospital with you.

As I started the process of bonding with you, I took in every detail of your little being—the glow in your eyes, the tininess of your fingernails, the shape of your ears, the sound of your voice and the softness of that skin.

And those toes . . . those teeny tiny toes. I marveled at the idea that they would eventually grow big enough to be able to carry you through each season of your life. 

Just recently, we realized that those now-toddler-sized feet of yours no longer fit into your favorite tennis shoes. I took your toes in my hands and said, “Somebody is growing up!”  

You smiled with pride, but as I held on to those little feet—the ones that carried you through your first steps and now propel you through your daily adventures—I realized they are one day going to be responsible for carrying you through even more life experiences.

Those little feet I used to kiss while you laid across my legs on the couch, may one day be firmly underneath you as you run a meeting in a board room.

Those little feet that sprint toward me in tears to tattle on your sister for taking something from you, may one day help drive the car to go be with her when she tells you she’s struggling.

Those little feet that are the center of your dance parties in the middle of the kitchen, may one day dance beside the love of your life on your wedding day.

Those little feet I hear sliding across the carpet as you escape your bed for the tenth time, may one day walk the hallway from your bedroom to the nursery at 3 a.m. when your own baby is ready for her midnight feeding.

Those little feet that make the sound of a tiptoe as you desperately try not to get caught stealing another cookie, may one day be underneath you as you’re teaching your own daughter how to bake.

Those little feet that splash in puddles and stomp in mud, might be the same ones that won’t want to walk away when you drop your firstborn off at college.

Those little feet that go in the air as you practice your cartwheels and somersaults, are the same ones that might turn around in circles as you swing your first grandchild around in the air.

Whatever journey those feet take you on, little one, I pray that in the end you will look back and see there was always another set of footsteps beside you supporting you along the way.  

Sometimes they led yours. Other times they fell behind so you could learn and shine on your own. But mostly, they were next to yours . . . 

Reminding you that you never have to walk this life on your own, no matter how much you grow up.

You may also like: 

Dear Mama, Your Heart Will Always Be My Home

Your Firsts Are My Lasts—So Grow Gently, My Love

Dear Son, When You No Longer Want Kisses From Mama

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Brea Schmidt

​Brea Schmidt is a writer, photographer and mom advocate who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch.  She also owns the Ohio-based family photography business Photography by Brea.  When she isn't writing, photographing or Mom-ing her three kids under the age of five, you can usually find her listening to country music or aggressively cheering for her favorite sports teams.