One day, you won’t ask me to lie down with you in the night and trace pictures along your back as you fall asleep. You’ll say goodnight, and get yourself dressed for bed, likely long after I’ve already closed my eyes. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since I sang you a song, read you a story, and made sure to turn your night light on.
One day, you’re going to wake up in the morning and not call out to me to let me know you’re awake. You’ll get ready for school, grab your lunch, and walk out the door. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since I walked you to the bus stop and watched the bus drive out of sight as you waved to me from the window.
One day, you’re not going to reach for my hand as you walk down the stairs.
You’ll run down them with your friends in tow, heading down to hang out, chat about life, and watch the newest shows. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since you needed my help to navigate them, or asked me to curl up with you and watch endless hours of Disney princess movies.
One day, you’ll spread peanut butter onto a perfectly toasted piece of bread that you made for yourself. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since you asked for your sandwiches cut into a star shape.
One day, you won’t need a chair to reach the counter to help with the dishes or help me bake cookies. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since you asked to lick the spoon or splashed sudsy water all over the floor.
One day, your big dreams will become reality and you’ll pack up your bags to set out on your next adventure—away from home, away from me.
I’ll wonder how long it’s been since you first told me you wanted to be a teacher, just like Mommy.
One day, you’ll meet a partner who loves you the way you deserve to be loved and you’ll walk down the aisle wearing the most beautiful white gown. I’ll wonder how long it’s been since I watched you try my wedding gown on, spinning around and telling me you felt like a princess.
One day, before I’ve even realized it, you’ll have grown from the most independent, fearless little girl into an independent, fearless woman who I’ll forever be so proud of.
But until then . . .
I’m going to stay here a little longer tracing pictures on your back and gently wipe your curly hair out of your eyes as they flutter closed. I’m going to greet you each morning as soon as I hear “Mommy” from across the hall.
I’m going to hold your hand as you walk down the stairs, put peanut butter on your star-shaped bread, bake dozens upon dozens of delicious cookies with you, and laugh at your little hands splashing in the dishwater, the bubbles flying into the air.
I’m going to watch you twirl around in your princess dress, wearing a plastic crown and high heel shoes that don’t quite fit your little feet just yet.
I’m going to listen to your big dreams, the little ones, and everything in between. I’m going to wish time wouldn’t pass by so quickly because you’ve shown me exactly how precious it truly is, and how fast it slips by without us even realizing.
You’ve taught me so many things, but especially how important it is to relish in all these little moments—every single one of them a big moment in the grand scheme of things because before we know it, it’s already one day.