You are a little over a year old. You can’t know how that knocks the wind out of me. Yesterday you were in my belly kicking your sister while I read her stories. I loved you for those kicks, for the spirit you were declaring before we ever heard your voice. After the house would slip into an evening slumber I’d caress you, gentle circles on my tummy and whispered promises to love you. Forever.
A year has passed, and oh how I’ve loved you, from dark, silky tendrils catching in eyelashes to those dimpled little paddle feet poking out. Each night I’ve come to you, on some you’ve been waiting, others I’ve gently gathered you in my arms and held you to me. You’ve always settled into me, belly against mine, with your pillowy cheek pressed against the underside of my breast, cheek and breast fitting as if two pieces, that had before been one.
Three days into your second year and I am not ready. I’ve seen how swiftly the time goes. I want more of you. More moments spent nursing you to a dreamy trance, watching your eyes mist over with knowing safety in my arms. One more week of sunny afternoons alone with you. One more little bit of having you hold on to me. I want to turn the clock back enough to catch up to you.
Still it goes. And so do you. Steps are not far off, and beyond that, sentences, forks and 2. I can’t imagine looking at you today, just past a year, that you’ll ever really be two. Will your throaty voice mutate into that shrill, powerful screech? Will you tell me “excuse me, that’s mine!” and “Stop talkin’ about it, just stop!”?
You’re so close already. I can see your power and I know your will. You were on tiptoe the other day, reaching for something not meant for you, stashed out of a little sister’s reach and I touched your leg, felt the calf muscle beneath your perfect skin. You teetered and wobbled, but never gave up. Each day you reach higher, tremble less.
Tonight I put you to bed amidst a wall shaking, ear drum piercing tantrum in the next room. Tortured wails and shuddering foot stomps peppered between screams and coughing. One quick check on your sister and you calmed. You understand these episodes more than your Dad and I, you don’t worry that they won’t pass, instead just tilting your head and refocusing on the moment. Your moment.
I gently squeezed you tonight and pressed my face against yours. I asked if you were ready for me to put your in your bed. I waited for you to slowly lift your head and turn to your bed, but you hesitated. Your body did not move, pressed against mine, your little hand reached for my shoulder as you buried your face in my neck and let me know, Not yet.
Tonight I am worshiping not yet.