“Mommy, how will you know when I’ve grown up?”
My sweet girl, this is your favorite question these days. You ask me this every day and it still catches me off guard. Why, my little love, do you want to grow up?
Sometimes you want me to say you will be taller. I tell you how you will grow out of your clothes and that you will mark a higher line on the wall by the kitchen. You love to say that you will get “bigger, bigger, BIGGER!”
Sometimes you want me to talk about everything you have learned and how you will learn new things and do more things with practice. You are so excited that you will someday go to kindergarten just like your brother.
Every time you ask this question, I answer that I see you grow more and more every day.
Many times, you follow up with “but right now I’m still little.” Part of me wants to hold onto that little for as long as possible because I really can see how much you are growing each day.
I see you grow with every “I can do it myself.” I see you grow when you say lemonade instead of “lemon egg” or mango instead of “flamango.” I see you grow as your drawings start to look like actual things instead of scribbles or with each new letter you learn to write.
I see you grow with every small piece of clothing I take out of your drawer because it will never fit you again. I see you grow every time you let go of my hand to explore on your own. I see you grow when you insist that we don’t call you baby girl because you are two-and-a-half.
Seeing you grow is one of my greatest joys. I watch in awe as you absorb the world and come into your own. They said it would go fast, but I had no idea it would go this fast. How is it that the days can be so long, but time is still speeding away?
While I love all your growing, I also hold onto the things that make you little now.
I treasure when you say hoptopus instead of hippopotamus or when you ask if eating chicken wings will make you fly. I wince when people correct you because I know I will miss your cute mispronunciations and explanations of the world.
The truth is, I know you will be grown long before I am ready. Your growth is beautiful and magical, but also bittersweet. I see you become more of your unique self, and at the same time, you become less of me. There was a time when we were so intertwined. I’m learning to let go little by little when all I want to do is hold tight.
I will always be here for all your growing, my sweet girl, and when you need space to rest and reflect from all of that growing, I will be here as your anchor and home.