Earlier this week I stood before a table of books when it hit - I don't remember what it is to have a small child anymore. The wonder of it hit home in a way that I can't truly explain. My daughter is wonderful and fabulous and truly a challenge as she grows into her own person with quite a different perspective and experience than mine; but, she is no longer a child.
I remember the wonder of being pregnant - and I loved being pregnant.
The peace (as there is no other way to describe it) of a child's hand in mine as we walked or the feel of her weight in my arms as we cuddled before she drifted to sleep leaving me contentedly dozing as well.
The young tween that she is now doesn't often resemble that little girl with the head of tossed and twirls of curls. She is all legs and muscles and perception. She is the shy child grown into outgoing confidence who stuns me when she declares that she was a bit uncertain or nervous, but she did it anyway.
Looking at her, mere inches from my adult height, I feel the passing of time and I remember the peace that came with her joyful laughter and her sleeping form.
I remember when I could fix just about anything; when a hug and a kiss made it all better. If it were only that easy now as her thoughts and perceptions and awareness of emotions - her desire to find her way - become a part of her life. I remind myself that now I can't fix it - but I can listen, give her space, and help her to remember the importance of a hug.
This is not to say I don't catch sight of that little girl now and again. She is soft and warm - affectionate and compassionate - and she dances with the butterflies whenever possible. She still holds my hand when we walk, that sense of grounding and security that we might both desire from time to time.
My eyes move from book to book on the table as I seek a title (in paperback) that I have yet to find in the store I wonder if this sad feeling is one that will be with me, in some way, for a while? It is not a sorrow that overwhelms. It is more the bitter sweet sense of realizing that pleasures once enjoyed can not be relived - nor would I want to relive them.
"Your daughter is an amazing dancer." a woman stated to me the next day.
"Thank you" I smiled. My daughter loves to dance; my daughter loves to create; my daughter loves to live - and she is most often amazing at it!!
I savor the memory of my daughter in her smallest forms as I remember, with fondness, the wonders of pregnancy. I look at her and see not only the wonder filled tween she is but the laughing energizer bunny of her past. and I realize, without doubt, that we have adventures awaiting and a world to explore… and that one of the greatest gifts I can give myself and my daughter is to be as mindful of each moment as I can.