I’m in complete denial that my baby girl will be four in five days. It doesn’t seem possible that four years have come and gone and that in those four years she has grown from a tiny newborn into an unbelievably strong willed, creative, and smart little girl. No longer a toddler but a little girl.
I seem to be struggling to let you grow up, I want to protect you and your brother from all that is wrong in this world. I want to keep you little and let you enjoy your childhood as long as possible but I want you to be independent, passionate about life, capable of making smart choices and able to learn from your mistakes.
Every birthday seems to come quicker. Every day moves a little faster. You are growing up at a rapid pace, a pace that I’m not completely comfortable accepting, that I am struggling to keep up with.
As each birthday draws closer for my children, I get this tight feeling in my stomach. It’s confusing. It’s an indescribable feeling to see them grow up and become who God intended them to be. Their personalities emerge more with each day. Every year they struggle and achieve. We learn more about them all the time. We see their passions emerge and their dislikes become more apparent. We get to know them even better.
These are all wonderful feelings. So why does it cause all this confusion? These feelings of longing and sadness for the years that have passed but joy for those years as well. I try to enjoy the days that are here and happening right before my eyes, the present, but I can’t help reflecting on those days when they were little newborns. They weren’t easy for us, but when I think back now, I can recall the smell of their heads, each and every roll on their bodies, they way they looked at me when nursing or taking a bottle, the way their little bodies fit so perfectly on my chest and their noses nestled into my neck. Those memories come flashing back and I want it all back, I want to do it all over again.
But then I see the little boy and girl before me. The little people they have grown up to be and that tight feeling in my stomach eases. That grip that was there goes away just a little bit because there they are, my blessings. Watching them grow up is a gift, one that I want to accept with open arms. So, my children, my promise to you is this; I will guide you through life to the best of my abilities, I will love you unconditionally for all of your life, I will support you, I will hold you, I will kiss you. I will let you grow. And hopefully one day, it will become easier.