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I cried the day we took her home from the hospital.

Most people will tell me that was just hormones. And part of it was, of course. I was a new mom. She was my first baby. Newborns are wonderful and mystifying for every parent, but especially new moms. And it’s terrifying. All of it.

But I didn’t cry that day out of fear.

I cried because I knew it would go by in a blink.

People warned me, but I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand their words of “it goes by so fast” and “hang on tight to each moment” until that day—the day I heard “Canon in D” being played on the piano.

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Let’s back up.

I was waiting in the hospital lobby for my husband, Kyle, to return. He was outside filling the car with baby bags, balloons and gifts, and nursing pads and trying desperately to install our new car seat.

It took a while, but I didn’t mind. Our sweet baby girl Ella was snuggled in my arms, and I was staring at every detail on her tiny face, in awe of this gift from God.

That’s when I heard the song.

Someone began playing “Canon in D” on the piano nearby. That was, of course, the same song that played at our wedding four years prior.

The reality of it all hit me. I grew up. I went to school. I graduated college. I got married.

And someday, God willing, our baby would grow up too.

I started to sob. I knew without a doubt in that moment that this baby girl wasn’t ours to keep.

And it gutted me.

I was right. They were right. It goes by in a blink.

That baby girl turns 13 this week, which can’t be possible because I was just holding her in my arms. I was also just a teenager, so this math doesn’t add up.

And yet, here we are, in the middle of a new chapter.

At times, I can still see that baby I held in my arms 13 years ago.

And if I’m honest, I miss her.

RELATED: When Your Daughter Turns 13

But I love who she is today, too. I don’t want to go back in time because then I would miss this new beautiful chapter.

That’s motherhood, I suppose. The bittersweet journey of saying goodbye.

I just wish it wouldn’t go by in a blink.

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

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