Weekends like this make me completely understand that frantic-nostalgic tone in the voices of parents with grown children when they say, "Enjoy it! It goes so fast!"
These days when it is sunny and cool and Natalie asks for "One more snuggle, Mama!" & work is the last thing on my mind & the house is un-dirty enough for me to just not worry about it, I get it. These really are the days that fly by in a blink and will be the memories I hold fast to when my child no longer reaches for my hand and needs me to nuzzle into her cheek at bedtime. These frustrating moments (like when she freaked her freak at a middle school basketball game yesterday when the buzzer sounded and then refused to re-enter the gym for an hour and a half) will be the memories we groan over in laughter and wonder why we took it all so seriously.
These near-dusk moments on a fall playground (where I watched my brave child conquer a ladder with my heart rising in my throat) will undoubtedly bring tears to my eyes when she is keeping secrets from me and discovering what it really means to be independent.
The sight of her running free and being such a kid makes my heart simultaneously swell and break. There has been nothing as gratifying in parenthood as watching my child grow and become brave and experience simple joys, but I hear the chorus of voices at the back of my mind reminding me that it will go so fast and all I want is to press pause.
This weekend, with its tears & laughter & running & cooking & finger-painting & dancing & bumps & bruises & snuggling, will be tucked away in my emotional memory bank so that someday I can remind parents with babies-becoming-children that it goes so fast, enjoy every second.
Natalie is 2 years & 7.5 months. She loves Taylor Swift and the Berenstain Bears books. She dances with every inch of her body and has an imaginary friend. She insists on painted toenails and carrying a purse, blanket, and doll everywhere she goes. Her hair is easily 100 different shades of brown and her legs are constantly covered in bruises and scrapes. She calls everything she loves "special" and flails her limbs constantly in her sleep. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite food is cheese. She insists on wearing boy underpants (the characters are so much cooler) and loves to snuggle at night by wrapping both arms tightly around my neck.