Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

Growth | November 21, 2009

When I first had my daughter, Emma, it amazed me how she seemed to change and grow every day–sometimes moment to moment–learning how to use her facial muscles, to smile and frown; learning new ways to express herself other than crying; rolling over for the first time (she wasn’t even a week old the first time–my amazing girl), pulling herself up onto her feet.  A new “look” that she gets from her daddy–he makes the weirdest faces sometimes!  I took SO MANY pictures of those first months, that first year, not wanting to miss a single thing.  I had to have everything documented, so I could store it in my heart and mind forever. 

Today, I looked at her again–not for the first time, as I look at her often–and it occurred to me that she is 3 1/2 years old, and she’s still changing EVERY DAY.  She gets taller, her hair grows, she learns a new activity, or a Bible verse.  These changes aren’t quite as noticeable in the day-to-day, but they are there.  They are tangible.


I feel like I need to walk around with a camera in my hand 24/7 again.  And I know that, even if I did–if I documented every moment of time I spend with her–I would still miss out.  There are things that change in an instant, far faster than the click of a camera.  I look at her today, and I can see where her face has matured and changed from how it looked last week.  I dress her in the mornings, and I have to dig for clothes that still fit her, when just last month they hung losely around her shoulders.  All too soon, she will be starting kindergarten.  Then elementary school, middle school… high school.  And then she’ll be off to college and meeting some terrible boy who will fall in love with her (how could he possibly resist?), marry her, and take her away from me!  I’m not prepared for any of this! 

And it occurs to me that I am growing and changing, too.  Every change in her life and visage changes me.  I thought, 3 1/2 years ago, that I was done growing–that I’d reached my “maturity” level and was done.  I was wrong.  And I’m relieved!  Knowing that I’m still growing and changing helps me to realize that, when the time comes for all of those things that I am NOT ready for, I’ll have grown and changed enough to be ready.  One step at a time.  Just like when she first started walking, and she would hold on to the couch and reach for the recliner.  And then tentatively take that first step into a vast world of the unknown.  I couldn’t hold her up forever; I couldn’t hold her in my arms and keep her a tiny, helpless infant (try as I might).  She had to take those steps on her own in order to learn how to run, and then she had to learn how to jump.  And just like my baby girl, I know that I can take those first steps; and then I’ll be able to take more.  I just have to try not to think about it until it’s time.  Because you can’t teach yourself how to do those things before the time comes.  I can’t train myself to be ready for her to go to college until I’ve learned to let her go to kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school.  I wont ever be able to let her go and marry that man she meets in college who loves her more than his own life.  I’m barely getting started, and I’m terrified of the future; of failing, of letting my children down when they need me the most.  How does a mother know when to hold on, and when to let go?  How does a mother know when her baby NEEDS her to hold on, and when she needs her to let go?  And how does she know when she should be a friend, and when she should be a mom?  There’s no one to teach us these things.  Our own mothers, wise with experience, can’t really tell us.  There are some things, like walking, that we have to learn by trial and error.


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  1. We have the most beautiful daughters in the world. But I’ve got news for you: you aren’t more mature than I am. Nya nya nya nya nya nya!

    Comment by Daniel — November 21, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  2. This coming from the man who says “nya nya nya nya nya” like a taunting child? Puh-lease!

    Comment by onmywaytobeauty — November 22, 2009 @ 7:31 am

  3. Still feels like yesterday when she was born. . .and now you have two!! and I am having two!!! this is crazy! Julia will be one year old on Tuesday.

    Comment by Ginny Willhite — November 25, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

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