I have been thinking a lot about you over the last year. More, actually, than I believe I ever have before.
The mother in me has risen every day over the last 12 years and beyond to try my best to keep you safe and love you well. These days have been the best days in the whole world. You have been my little girlie and I have been here, being your Mommy.
Something has begun to be different. I have tried my hardest to keep you as you are, right here, but that is simply not the way God intended it. For, as is with all children, you must grow up. You must leave this sweet and sacred space of childhood and grow into your own self. I wonder if this is the reason I have always loved the movie Peter Pan? Did I think in the back of my mind that this fantasy could be real?
I saw you the other day walk out of your bedroom, first thing in the morning, carrying your bunny and blanket that you have had since you were born. I don’t see you do this too often anymore, so maybe that’s why I noticed it. And at that same moment you said to me, “I mean, Mom, you do know I’m growing up right?”
I stared at you holding tightly to softness of your past, yet seeking confirmation for your future.
At that moment, I knew. I knew the great change was beginning and my heart began to sink.
Just a few days later, I was caught in your bed holding you closer than I had in a long time. You were a bed of tears and confusion. I sat still to comfort you and out of nowhere you said, “I don’t want to grow up Momma. Why can’t I just be little forever?”
Instantly, 12 years of your life flashed before my eyes. I saw the span of your sweetness from the day you were born, through two-year-old piggy tails and jumping in mud puddles with your brother. I saw you hopping waves at three and giggling, as you say, “Look mommy, see me?”
I melted with you right there. I could not take it either.
The truth is, boo, I don’t want you to grow up too.
Can you please stay small forever?
I feel as though I’m standing up and waving farewell to the tiny, tan being you are. I’m waving goodbye to the Sissy who used to give Shep his bottle. I’m waving goodbye to the silly goose who has always been smarter than her own britches. I’m watching you walk away from pink overalls, tiny gardening hands and a happy girl who got her first back-handspring.
“I don’t ever want to have to leave you Momma,” you tell me. “Why? Why do we have to grow up?”
Through tears I tell you that one day you will have your own children too. You must become a woman like me, so that you can do all the amazing things God has planned for you.
With our heads on your pillow you ask, “can we stay like this forever? Just me and you?”
Yes, darling, at least I hope so. I will always be your mother and I hope to always be here taking care of you. The beauty in today is that you don’t have to do this alone. That’s why I’m here; to hold you and be your lantern and show you which way to go.
I know, dear one, it’s hard to walk away from something so amazing and wonderful as being a little child. But I promise, lovely things are around the corner too. And I will still be here, guiding your path and loving you the whole way through.
So, dear Sissy, we will say farewell to wee little you together. We will never forget her and she will continue to be a source of joy and silliness for the rest of our lives. And when we think the hurdles are too big or the mountain too tall, we will turn around together and see little you…
“Look Mommy! I’m doing it. See! See me?”
And will look directly into your eyes and see the lady you are becoming. You will continue to conquer all the things of life, just as you have done before.
I love you, sweet girl. You are a light unto my own feet and a lamp unto my path…