What if I just don't acknowledge it?
Her birthday, that is.
What if I just pretend it's still December or January forever, and that my baby is still my baby? What if I take out all her 9 month clothes and keep stuffing her into them? What if I keep pureeing her food and spoon feeding it to her?
That'll work, right? If I do all of those things, Leah will catch some kind of Peter Pan syndrome and never grow up?
I love watching my daughter, with her mischevious smile as she feeds herself full pieces of corn and peas and carrots. I love that she can walk (not on her own, clearly) and mimicks everything I say. I love how she is clever and creative and communicates so well.
And at the same time, I am absolutely aching as I watch her grow up. So quickly! The feel of her as she rests her little head on my chest. The tiny, delicate weight of her little body as I rock her to sleep. That little baby face. The chubbiness of her little arms and legs.
Does it ever get easier? This heaviness that suddenly exists in my soul and brings me to tears, even as I know I have so many wonderful things to look forward to. It's much more bitter than sweet tonight, and I am missing those moments that have evaporated into time which I will never again be able to recapture.
I know I am lucky to have a happy, healthy baby with a million tomorrows in front of her. But sometimes in motherhood, those yesterdays are just so darn treasured it is hard to say goodbye.