Lately, I am hyper aware that our time together, as a family unit of 3 will end soon, and I grief for it on the inside. To make up for it, I spend as much time I have with her after work, to ride bikes, to water the plant, to push her on the swing in our backyard and all around just to be more present with her. In many ways, I dread sleep training her (even though I know we have to), not for the hard work that would ensue, but because of the ultimate success at the end that would result in her being less dependent on me.
Just over the past few weeks, I see glimpses of a young girl that is no longer my baby, in her demeanor, in her speech, and sometimes in the pictures I captured.
Just the other day, I was pushing her on the swing and in her typical excitement and in between "wheeee!!!" She flat out said "Reggie! Look at me! I'm swinging!" I almost died. Where and when did my 22 month old know how to put sentences together?
On her first ride at Disneyland over Memorial Day weekend, I took a series of pictures of her on the ride, and in it, I saw the clear cautiousness present from being up high in the air, but also a glimpse of courage and enjoyment born out of curiosity of toddlerhood.
I love photography for this very reason where it is able to capture a moment in time that demonstrates the bigger picture of that time. I will forever cherish these moments when my girl was 22 months.
From a totally biased opinion of a mother, my girl is a beautiful young girl who is used to being told that she is beautiful. But beyond her external beauty, I am beginning to see glimpses of the beauty that roots within her budding character, and I am most proud of those moments. One day, I was cutting up a pear for us to snack on and I handed her a piece. Instead of running off in her typical fashion, she stuck around and hang around at my leg, which made me curious so I asked her what else she needed. Her response was "Daylin" and I instantly knew that she was sticking around for another piece for a friend that was visiting. Needless to say, I handed her another piece and she ran straight out of the kitchen and handed her friend the second piece, where they enjoyed the snack in peace and quiet. I shoved a piece of pear in my mouth immediately to distract me from the proud tears that was welling up inside of me and threatening to come out.
In three months, she will officially be a big sister to a little boy and I'm excited to be a witness to her developing character as she learns to navigate the new territory of sharing and receiving love. I have no doubt that my girl will adjust just fine, but for now I will be more present to her growth, and in the midnight hours, briefly grief for the time that is slipping away from me.