It was just a quick glance as you were counting down days to your 8th birthday and I was concentrating on making sure you had all you needed for school. Our usual everyday school run routine.
In that minute though, that split second I glanced at you and there were no hints of baby any longer, no remnants of toddlerhood. You were all little girl. A beautiful, chatty, funny little girl who is almost 8.
It shocked me. I know how daft that sounds. I know you’re nearly 8. After all I’ve been around for the bits between birth and now, joining the adventure that is your life. When I looked at you this morning though it felt as if birth to 8 had whizzed by all in that exact second.
Your stunningly beautiful little face has none of the chubby cheeked squishiness that the toddler you had. There’s not a flash of the gummy toothless smile that used to greet me every morning as I went to lift you out of your cot.
Whilst you’re chatting away to me about birthdays and school and Romans and penguins in the chirpy enthusiastic way you have I struggle to equate it with the preschooler I worried so badly would never talk. I know! How nuts is that? My Little Miss Chatterbox wouldn’t talk. I panicked and stressed and worried for so long, half believing you’d be forever silent. As it turned out you were just holding on until you had something articulate to say. I know MANY grown ups who could learn from that!
Those strong legs of yours that are never still that never walk when a hop, skip or leap will do. We laugh, don’t we? About how we know when you’re feeling poorly as it’s the only time you actually walk from A to B rather than skip or dance. So very different from those gorgeously wobbly baby thighs I just wanted to gobble up. The legs that would kick and wiggle as I attempted to dress you or change your nappy. Those sturdy little legs I kept standing you up on every time you wobbled as you were learning to walk. They’re gone. Replaced by your athletic gymnasts legs.
When I stop and think like this, I can recall the moments between the tiny baby who was placed on my chest as she was born and this amazing little girl I hold hands with and school run everyday. When I stop and take a breath there are a whole catalogue of such very special moments we’ve shared. I feel as though I could bring to mind every day, every occasion, every milestone.
Just for a second though this morning, when I glimpsed at the pretty chatty girl in front of me it felt as though 8 whole years had whizzed by in a heartbeat.
In another 8 years you’ll be turning 16. That’s a scary thought. Though I’m grateful for the reminder of how time really does fly. I’ll do all I can to ensure when I feel like time is rushing too fast to stop and remember the moments because it’s the moments that make up a lifetime isn’t it? I don’t want to forget a single one.