Last night I sang my two-year-old baby daughter to sleep for the last time. Today, she wakes up a three-year-old big girl, her blonde curls wild from sleep, her cheeks warm and pink from her pillow.
I look into her eyes, deep pools of knowing, and see an old soul eager to plunge into the depths of childhood imagination. She has an amazing fortitude, an aptitude for remarkable consistency, and an uncanny precision. Most surprising is her innate ability to just know how things are done. I always feel that when I give her directions, I am simply repeating back instructions she has given me a lifetime ago.
My now three-year-old has a tremendous grace -- physical, mental, and emotional. Her sense of humor is spontaneous and timely. Last night, she slipped on a blanket, landing with a plop on her rear. Her face registered shock, then quickly dissolved into a fit of giggles as she sputtered, "I fell on my BUM!" She wasn't annoyed, she knew that she wasn't hurt and wasn't looking for sympathy. She simply knew that she landed on her rear and that it was funny.
I spent most of Violet's first two-and-a-half years thinking that all I knew of her was the top of her head because she was addicted to the mom pacifier. And, honestly, I indulged her in the for as long as she wanted because Violet has never seemed to need anything from anyone. Even as a tiny infant, she could self-soothe, self-entertain, and pretty much self-anything as long as she could reach it. Sometimes I wonder if she only keeps us around so that we can drive the cars, use the stove, and reach things from tall shelves.
Oh, my independent little one, I hope that your burgeoning self continues to grow, that you will always explore with as much gusto as you do now. I melt when your sweet little laugh peals when you are delighted, ringing through my heart like a chorus of bells.
I embrace you now, now before the world of, "Geez, mom!" and "Aw, c'mon!" creeps into your vocabulary. Now, while you still call "Play with me!" as you skip to your dollies and princesses. Now, while your big-girl-you is still small enough to cradle in my open arms. Now, while I can press my cheek into your soft hair, still smelling like you. Now, while your life is still perfect.