I can’t recall the exact moment where I first noticed the difference. But today, while you were falling asleep for your nap, the nap where you asked me to lay down with you, I looked at your peaceful face and saw a child. Not a baby. Yes, you have the same curly hair and thick, long, perfectly curled eyelashes. Your nose is petite, and your lips the same shape as mine. But this time, I thought to myself “look at my beautiful daughter.” Daughter. Not baby.
Don’t get me wrong – you will always be my baby, my precious firstborn. But today, while you were holding your bunny and drifting off to sleep, I saw a child. An inquisitive little person who still needs my assistance, but is also incredibly independent. A person who is speaking in sentences, singing songs, playing games, and sleeping in a real bed. Your laugh has not changed since the first time I heard that precious sound, but the body it bubbles out of is so much more mature.
I have been aware of this shift in you for some time now, and as I mentioned before, I cannot recall exactly when I first noticed these subtle differences in you. But today, they had the most perfect culmination and my mind finally recognizes that you are a child, a toddler. My heart may never accept that you aren’t my baby, (so forgive me when I embarrass you next year and for the next twenty years.) But my head has finally wrapped around this concept and is embracing this new phase of life we are entering.
I love you, my sweet girl. I am so proud of the person you are becoming. Thank you for amazing me, teaching me, and loving me every day. And please, forgive mommy when I cheer for your milestones and wipe a tear away at the same time. My head understands, but my heart is a bit slow to grasp this whole “growing up” concept.