Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Where Did She Go?

So I needed a space for reflection. I hope this is it. I used to do this type of thing through email--talk about my day and my reactions to it--but I don't think that will work for me anymore. I am in my own section of life now and none of my close friends can quite see into it. So I hold back what I would like to say, knowing that they probably wouldn't understand. In this form I have no particular listener. Maybe no one will read this. Hopefully someone will. The not knowing will probably allow me to be much more open with my words. We'll see.

This morning I found a picture of my daughter Zoë at seven months. Now she is 21 months old. In my life, 14 months is a short time. But in her life, it's ages. She was so small. I immediately remembered how she behaved at that time, how curious she was, how little she could do for herself. I miss that baby so much.

But how can I miss someone who jumps on my tummy and pulls on my legs all day? How can I miss someone who screams at me in protest when I do the dishes or make dinner? How can I miss someone who hugs my neck with her little arms, kisses my lips and says "I lob mommy."?

I don't want her to go back to being an infant. She would just grow up again. And I certainly don't want her to be stuck in infant phase forever (but I want a PUPPY, can't it be a cute puppy forever?) I was in the picture with her and my face looked even more exhausted than I feel now. So what makes me miss that baby?

Now my daughter is a toddler. Really, a small person. She makes decisions and demands. She gets excited. She likes to be involved. She cares about all sorts of things. And she's going to keep growing. Soon she'll be using full sentences. She'll be able to tell me exactly what she wants. Maybe even use the big girl potty on her own. I'll miss the baby but I won't be sad. These advances will make my life easier and easier.

Still, I hope I don't forget any stage of her life. I hope I'll remember how much she needed me in the past. Those memories will allow me to be amazed at all she is becoming.


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