I see you, my sweet girl. So much has changed in this past year. I see you with your suddenly long limbs, gangly and graceful at the same time. The last bit of little kid that was lurking around is gone. I see you with your crooked grin, proudly displaying your latest lost tooth-turned-treasure. You are awkward and beautiful, silly and serious, little and big.
I see you straddling the line between your past and your future. Your past was filled with make-believe and dolls and little kid play. Your future will be Big Girl things, makeup and fashion and and friends and art and books that you already love so much. I just pray that you still keep a little bit of that make-believe, and don’t let go of those dolls too soon.
I see you posing in front of the mirror, making serious faces that make me giggle inside. I see you pushing the limits of what I view as acceptable clothing for a Girl Your Age and I know this is just the beginning of a long road of battles between us. And it’s okay. You see yourself as so grown up and I want to hug you and keep you small for just a little longer. Opposing forces. This should be interesting.
I see you making me laugh, all the time, because you’re a goofball. I love hanging out with you.
I see you with your strong opinions- feelings about food, what you wear, and I see you roll your eyes when I make you pin your hair back from your precious face. I see your opinions about where we’ll go for dinner, what you want to watch on tv, how long you’ll let your little sister tag along after you before you get irritated. I see you being patient with your little brother, playing the role of Mommy when I’m busy with something else. I see you being helpful and wonderful and generous, even when I have to remind you to be so.
I see you in the midst of the typical self-centered drama that comes with your age. You’re learning the painful lesson that you are not the center of the world, even if you are one of the brightest spots in ours. Little slights and troubles are so big to you, and I try my best to understand and remember that even if it’s inconsequential to me, it matters to you. Let it out, and I’ll always listen.
I see you being brave and being willing to take more risks. I see you working hard. I see you being scared but doing it anyway. I see you doing amazing things, right now and down the road.
I see you, the you of 5 or 6 years ago, chubby and soft and wide-eyed and curly-haired. I can hear your sweet toddler voice, asking toddler questions, feel your tiny toddler hand clinging tightly to mine.
If I squint, I can still see her. But she’s very very faint. Part of me aches for that past version of you, just wanting to hold her one more time. But I also see the incredible YOU that is here now, and I am less sad about leaving her behind.
I see you, growing up. A mama’s heart is heavy and light, all at the same time.