My love poem to my baby girl (for her 8th birthday - a few months late, as usual):
Skin so fair, eyes so bright,
You are my heart song come to life.
Flowers in your hair, soft ringlets of spun gold frame your fairy face.
I blinked and clumsy toddles gave way to graceful twirls.
My eyes well and heart stings, breath catching when I see the crown of your head reaching halfway up my arm, irrefutable evidence of growth unstoppable. Time marching on, or in your case, dancing.
At night I creep into your room just to nuzzle your still plump little child cheeks in the moonlight.
A tender head atop a pillow, a mess of curls encircled by beloved stuffed animals.
During the day, I wipe those cheeks, tears still plentiful over the confusing mess of this sometimes mean world. But later in the day, those same cheeks will raise, corners of eyes crinkling in delight at some wonder of nature - an insect, a flower, a silly little brother.
Your hungry brain devours books, hangs on teachers' words, begs to hear stories of days gone by. Bittersweet school days filled with the joys of learning and the heartaches of playground snubs.
My arms are open and waiting when you step off the bus. A good snack and snuggle, some "special time" with mom, and you are off to paint a masterpiece or play some music or entertain a certain little blond haired boy whose been waiting all day for your return.
A small heart so big I'm not sure how it fits in your chest. You always have a gift for someone. "How can I help, mom?" Music to my ears, I'm hard pressed to remember your age, and have to catch myself before I overload those little arms.
How are you 8 already, my dear? As much as I long to hold you tight enough to somehow stop the growth, to pause the whole world just to wonder a bit longer at the right-now miracle of you, I will not. I won't even try.
I will not fear or dread your growth and change. Why? Because you have an amazing track record of amazing me.
I know you will spread your wings and fly. If I do my job right, you'll feel confident navigating this great big world without me...but I hope sometimes I'm invited along for the ride.
Love you, baby girl!