Last night, Charlotte stopped in the living room to give Evelyn and me goodnight kisses before flitting away to read a story with Donald.
“Okay,” she announced. “It’s time for me to go to bed now. I’ll make sure I’m well-rested for preschool tomorrow, okay, Mom?
These days, I’m only Momma half the time. The other half, I’m just Mom.
It hurts my heart watching Charlotte grow up. I miss the days I laid her out on a blanket and kissed her chubby thighs and listened to her coo and giggle as the birds flew by. I miss the days I tucked her into the Ergo and hiked up the top of a hill and nursed her in the shade. I miss the days she charged down the road to her grandparents in her pink polka-dot onesie with a wood toy clacking along behind.
I miss the days when she let me put pigtails in her hair. I miss the days when she liked napping beside me in the afternoons. I miss the days when she wanted to paint before eating breakfast. I miss the days when she said “LELLOW!” instead of “yellow” and when she described her hair as “blondie.” I miss the days when she clambered into the carrier and swung her legs back and forth and asked when the baby would be born.
But it would hurt my heart infinitely more if Charlotte never grew up, so I watch this process and I grieve and I celebrate. I have never been so grateful to be anything in my life as I am to be just Mom.
** Charlotte is three years and six months old. Evie is eleven weeks old.