Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bye-Bye Baby, Hello Big Girl

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.


The Laughing Librarian said...

<3 That made me tear up at work and want nothing more than to go cuddle my own little bundle of independance. Three is great!

Mama Pipes said...

I already relate to so much of this with my one year old. Very lovely. The adventure continues!

vanita said...

this post was beautiful and touched me deeply. cherish these days. my sabrina was always so loving and then she started 3rd grade and i wasn't allowed to kiss her goodbye or hold her hand on the street and it made me tear up often. Now she's 12 and I'm not allowed to tickle her. Thank goodness I have Damian and Natasha to cuddle for a few more years. Even my oldest, at 13, will let me cuddle her, but no amount of cuddling from the rest of my children replaces the cuddling lost from one. I need to cuddle all. Just can't help it.

Mommyfriend Lori said...

WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! My baby turns 3 tomorrow! Your post made me cry, you captures every single feeling. Thank you for your post, really.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Three is awesome. Elmo is three. :) Two is great, but three rocks, too. Love those years.