Yesterday, for the first time, you walked away from me.
After I buckled you into your car seat and before I started the car, I cried tears without a sound from my behind the steering wheel.
Someday, you will sit in a similar seat… but I’m not ready to think about that.
As I turned around and saw you round the corner, you stopped and looked at me. Your smile lit your face up like you were radiating from the inside. I felt my heart collapse in my chest. It melted down the left side of my body. My feet felt heavy as I lifted them and raced to scoop you up. The man behind the counter smiled at me as I came back to the register to finish our transaction- he saw my eyes growing big as they held back the inevitable reaction. So many times I see parents chase and yell… and maybe someday I will, too- certainly if you’re headed towards traffic! For now, I will embrace this new thing you’re experimenting with.
You’re off and running, sweet girl. You’re climbing your chair and dancing to your own rhythm. And me, on the sidelines? I’m basking in the glory. You, after all, are an extension of me. The smile that bears not only your teeth, but embodies your spirit. The dance that runs through your limbs. The expressions that cross your visage. The ten fingers and ten toes that Daddy and I created and will always cherish.
When you walk yourself to the front steps of the house and ask for “help”… your blue eyes staring up at me from 28 inches off the ground. Your head bobbing up and down in a nod, encouraging me to lift you the 5 stairs inside. I know this moment is fleeting. Soon you will master the entrance, just as you mastered the walk. And I will cry each time you forgo my assistance in lieu of your own accord.
No matter where you walk, I am not far behind. Whatever the distance- just close your eyes, and I promise I’ll be there.
This is the song Daddy and I danced to at our wedding… but I think it applies to all of us now.