not yet one.
Monday, January 28, 2013
We were at a local basketball game last week and after the game, we let the kids run (Grey) and wobble confidently (Gem) all over the court before heading home. Someone pointed at Gemma to tell me that she's beautiful and , 'how old is she? About one, right?" I said thank you and that, 'yes, almost, she'll be one next month.' A few minutes later, Gemma hobbled over to me and lifted her arms and I scooped her up and kissed her squishy, soft cheek. I smiled and thought, 'nope, she's not yet one.'
not yet one.
ugh, one. one is such a small number, the smallest of them all and yet it feels painfully grown in the same blink. Her first birthday is one that marks new and 'approved' activities like drinking milk and from a cup - no more bubba for you, biggie girl. And gives her access to things like honey and peanut butter which have been hidden away from her in her first year.
I feel like I'm standing with my back to the door of One, pushing against it to hold off all the one-ness that will soon make its way onto our girl. When those One doors open, it reveals a sliding-board to toddlerhood that the farther along she slides, the quicker she'll go - learning to run, then speak real words, then stringing those words into sentences until before too long she's holding conversations with me, the deli guy at the grocery store, and her stuffed animals. I will turn back to look through those exit only doors and long for the days of her grinning baby cheeks.
Gemmi is not yet one. We still sit together for long periods of time not speaking or making sounds, but engaging in meaningful conversations through our facial expressions and the toys we hand back and forth to each other.
She is not yet one. She will let me hold her for as long as I could care to want. If I have the time to hold her, she'll take it. Rarely yet does she struggle against my hug or try to squirm away. She is content to sit in my arms and pull at my hair and give me one trillion open mouth kisses. She wraps her little arms around my neck and holds onto my shirt with her tiny fists.
She is not yet one. She is still easily distracted when I need her to be, like when her brother decides he needs to play with that same toy right now. Gem is happy enough to be given a shoe in place of that toy and act as though it is just as fun. Smacking kisses to each other is a game that can stretch on for minutes when I need to occupy her while I finish up a task.
She is not yet one. Gemma doesn't care about princesses or pink or dolls or dress up. She plays with cars and arrows and babies and silk scarves without bias. She joyously waddles after the dogs and is happy to chase or play with her brother in any game he chooses.
But I can see that it is coming; her exit out of babyhood. I see glimmers of the toddler and the girl she will someday be and it is both beautiful and terrifying.
We introduced her to silverware a few weeks ago and let her try a spoon out and she had surprising accuracy with it. It was like watching her baby petals pull back to reveal a little girl and it was such a small moment but one that was both heartbreaking and proud.
Or this afternoon when I picked her out of her crib after her nap and she smiled that sweet smile at me. Then she smacked her lips together which prompted me to say, "You want a kissa, Gemmi?" To which she leaned her sweet little open mouth to my lips and in that sweet, tender moment I saw my daughter as a toddler who knew what she wanted and how to ask for it. 'Oh no,' I thought, 'she's growing older with each nap.'
Oh, Gemmi girl, maybe someday you will grow up to be a big sap like your mumma or maybe you won't. But it is crushing me to see how you are already growing too fast. One whole year already. how, my darling, how? Like sand slipping through our fingers, our precious girl. Like sand.
I love you more today than I did yesterday. And I will keep loving you a little more and more and more for all the days and years that will just keep coming at you. But for now, I am clinging to this little baby girl who still smells so sweet and needs only to see a smile on my face to cause a smile on hers.
You are not yet one, my angel.
at least not for a little while longer.