Letter to my Daughter: May 2011

The other day I was completely freaked out at the sight of the hair on your legs. It was soft and downy, just as it’s supposed to be at your age, but for some reason I didn’t want it to be there at all. The problem, of course, is that with all of my being I wish you would stay small, so I face a hundred small reminders every day that that particular wish just isn’t going to come true. On the positive side it spurred me to work a little harder to hold onto the memories, so I decided to write you a letter.

This is us as we so often are: nose to nose. (It looks angelic, but there’s a good chance that whatever you were saying to me included the word, ‘booger’)  I love this picture, even if it is a wicked test of my (terrible) vanity: all those wrinkles on your mama. But you: you blossom. You don’t look at all like a toddler anymore. Your pediatrician pointed out a long time ago that you carried the body of a child: you lost the roundness and proportions of babyhood early on. But I’ve maintained the illusion as long as I could.

This month was golden and bright and the perfect backdrop as you stretched your long legs and your strong wings and soared. You played outside much more than in, and you came home from school every day covered in mud. I will always remember that about your Waldorf year: that you were always the muddiest kid in class, always.

Time bum-rushed me. For the first time, just last weekend, we picked up a friend to go to a party, your matching booster seats bumping into each other in the back seat. You finally left pull-ups behind, at least for naps. Playdates, these days, you’re on your own, tossing a wave over your shoulder as you run to greet your friend. It’s not yet comfortable, to me, this time apart.

You stayed at school for naptime, as an experiment. When I arrived you bolted up from your blanket: surrounded by children sleeping peacefully, you’d been keeping an eye on the door, watching and waiting. Your cheeks were streaked with tears. You’d cried for me, you said. Let’s not do this again, you said. Let’s go home, you said, reaching for me. I picked you up to carry you to the car and you curled into me, your head on my shoulder, content for the moment to grant me that one wish all mothers’ hearts secretly hold: to have my baby in my arms, for just a little bit longer.

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 10:26 PM  Leave a Comment  

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