When I walked back into the kitchen this morning after changing my baby, I was greeted by this:
" Look, Mommy, I can do it. I can do it all by myself. ALL by myself! No, it’s ok, Mommy, I don’t need any help. I already did it. All by myself!"
; ;; ;; ; Abbie, nearly 3, said with a self-satisfied, munchkin smile
And so she had. My little baby girl (please, allow me my delusions for just a moment here), can now get breakfast all by herself. She took the yogurt from the fridge, a spoon from the drawer, climbed up on her little chair, dished it all out, and put the yogurt back in the fridge. My role? I carried the bowl, brimming with yogurt, safely to the kitchen table.
Tomorrow, Abbie will turn 3. A momentous birthday. At 2, a child may still be seen as barely out of babyhood. But a 3 year old? Oh, no. Now she is truly a little girl.
I am bewildered as to where the time has gone. I look through the photo memories of the past three years, and I can account for all the time, but in my heart, I feel as though someone, somewhere along the line, pressed the fast forward button when I wasn’t looking. And so it will continue, until one bright November morning I awake to find that tomorrow she will be 7, and then 10, and then 15, and then 21.
But this morning I will relish in the preciousness of my little girl. The girl who still wants me to lie down and snuggle as she prepares to take a nap. The girl who loves to cuddle up to me as we read a story on the couch. The girl whose boo boos can still magically be kissed away. The girl who makes me promise each night, as I say goodnight, that I will leave the door open a little bit and wake her up when it’s time. The girl whose smiles and laughter melt my heart. The girl whom I love so dearly and could not imagine my life without.