Did you know that when you were tiny I’d hold you while you napped? I’d wrap a strip of white fabric around my body and I’d tuck you in to the place where the pieces overlapped, pulling them out over your body to hold you snug and near. Your head right under my chin for kissing. Your hair used to tickle my nose as I’d nod my head down and breathe you in between the chores and the chasing of your brothers. Between the dishes and the laundry. All while you slept.
A little face bordered by dark curls, and huge blue eyes, a rounded little button nose and chubby cheeks that pushed out your little lips in a pout as you went from wide awake to fast asleep. A tiny body that looked odd and out of place when I put you down and you flailed on a flat surface, unable to move yourself. But held near you bobbed your head around and held it up and had little reason to think of the smallness of your size.
You grew. You popped those little arms out of the top of the wrap and leaned around to reach and to grab. I sat you down on the floor and you played with toys until you wanted to come back up into my arms.
You grew. You leaned back and laughed as I kissed your chin and your face. I put you down and you took off like a little scurry-mammal skittering across the floor on your knees, rocking back onto your haunches to look to where you left me.
You grew. You pulled your legs up and kicked. I pulled you out and put you down, feet first. You stood. You ran. You learned to jump and to climb.
You grew. You fussed when you were tired, pulling away from me. So I put you down in our bed and your head would find the pillow. You’d fuss and reach for me and we’d nurse you to sleep. I found myself able to get up and to walk around. To move. To do all the things that I used to have to carry you through.
You grew. You pushed me away when you were done nursing, you crawled around the bed, finally you crawled back to me to nurse again. And in all your restlessness and endless motion, you nursed yourself to sleep.
You grew. You crawled away when you were done nursing, and you found your place. You rested your head, and you slept.
The rains of spring come crashing down and flood the fields. Children splash in puddles.
The summer sun dries up that rain and bakes the dirt with heat. Children play at the beach and swim in the pool.
Fall turns the leaves of summer to brilliant shades of red and yellow. Leaves fall from trees, doing cartwheels in the air. Piles are raked up and children play in all the colors.
Winter comes, snow and cold. Children build snowmen and ride down hills in sleds.
To everything there is a season. I will not rail at the rain that falls in the spring. I will not curse the summer heat. I will not hate the fall for the leaves I rake. And I will not begrudge the winter all of its snow and cold.
And you, little one. Once you were small and I embraced this season of our lives. For just as the seasons of the Earth come to pass, so do the seasons that we spend together.
Now you are two. Seasons have passed, both outside and in.
You grew. You changed.
No tears. No crying. No training. No pressure to speed ahead. You grew.
As I write this, little one, the lights are dim. I rock in the rocking chair, and you lay in bed. You’ve tucked your mouse and your doll into bed, and you’ve tucked yourself in too. You whisper to them while you wait for them to sleep, as I often whisper to you. Soon you will call me over to snuggle with you. Or maybe tonight will be the night that you just put yourself to sleep. Or maybe I’ll just come over and snuggle you before you ask, because I love our bedtime snuggles. I’m not pushing you tonight, I’m giving you the space you seem to want and need.
No rush, little one. You’ve grown. You’ve changed, you’ll grow and change from here as well.