(Photo by my friend Andi)
My heart ached when I knew you weren’t a toddler anymore. I couldn’t bear to think of you without those padded thighs and the sound of your little sentences, trying out your new words. I willed every part of you to stay small, to be my baby for a little while longer. I lay in bed at night and whispered prayers over each of your chubby limbs, please stay small, please stay my baby.
One morning you woke beside me I knew the toddler was gone. Beside me lay a little girl. Your legs so long, your eyes so clever and you words spinning wild and confident tales. “Good morning mummy” you say with shining eyes. “Did you have a good sleep mama?” as you reach your hand out to hold mine. I am in awe of you, your thoughtfulness, your kind heart, your wild spirit. I enjoy your company so much.
I lay in bed nursing your brother and you look over at me with your hands propping your chin and your eyes alight. “How about after you put Feo to bed we go sew together?” I smile and you take this as my yes, bouncing out of bed before I’ve had time to get a word in edgewise. As I thread the needle in and out your little face is pressed into the action, your excited breath on my neck. No longer my baby, now my friend.
Peach, I like who you are so very, very much. When I think about spending your childhood with you, I know I am the luckiest.