Friday, July 25, 2008

Coming of Age...From Aug 2007

*sigh....The time has come, my baby girl has officially made the transition into "womanhood." It seems like just yesterday that I had this precious baby girl, who needed her mother for everything, wrapped up in my arms staring into her vibrant blue eyes as she suckled at my breast, as the minutes passed and her tummy filled up, her eyes would grow weary and she would nod off with the tiniest drop of milk dripping out of the side of her mouth. I would stare at her angelic face for what seemed like hours after she drifted off to sleep, wanting to capture every moment of her life and embed it deep in my memory. These memories soon would be all I had to cherish as the precious little angel that was lying in my arms would soon become a woman.
I knew that this moment would come at some point, but I still feel like I am not ready for this.The time comes in every parents' life when their child must grow and spread their wings and eventually fly off into their own life.This seems to have all come at such warp speed that I feel totally unprepared for the years ahead of me. I have always taken pride in the fact that I have allowed my children to grow and flourish into unique individuals while watching, encouraging, and guiding from the sidelines.
As I watch my beautiful baby girl begin this amazing journey into young womanhood, I can't help but get emotional. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I watched and encouraged her to let go of my hand and take her 1st wobbly steps across the kitchen floor in her favorite Barney footed sleeper. She would take a step or two and then reach back for me, so that she could steady herself. After many attempts on her part she decided it was time to go and took off giggling and waddling across the floor. She was off and wasn't looking back, I sat back and watched as she gained more confidence with each step. I saw her start to stagger a bit and I knew the fall was coming. I wanted to reach out to her and protect her from the fall, but I watched her slow her steps and attempt to steady herself on her feet. When she fell I sat back and just encouraged her to get up and try it again. I knew then that I would not be there to save her from every "fall" throughout her life. As much as I want to preserve the innocence of my children and protect them from the "falls", I know that is not reality.
Even though she shed the Barney sleeper years ago, her wobbly steps became confident strides, and the need for my hand to "steady" her has diminished it will always be there for her when she needs it. I am now sitting here staring at this outgoing, confident young lady curled up on the couch fast asleep wondering where the time has gone. There are times that I wish we could trade in the talks about boys and feminine hygiene for singing all of those horrific Barney songs that I loathed years ago. But I know the time has come to allow this transition to naturally take its course and prepare for what the future holds. I am sure than in 20 years time as I am watching my baby girl bring her own baby in to this world (if she chooses that is) I will look back at this "milestone" and wonder what the big deal was, just as I sit here today and wonder why I was so emotional on that day that she let go of my hand in her Barney sleeper.

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