Sometimes I look at her and I wonder.

I wonder at how we’re here.

climbing ladder

Here with long, lanky legs. And a mouth full of teeth from which multi-syllabic words stream out in eloquent sentences conveying thoughts and ideas and dreams. I’m magical, she says, and she is. Like a unicorn dancing on a rainbow.

Baby at the park

But I know it was just yesterday that she was small. So very small. It was just a breath ago that she was helpless. So very helpless. Just a blink since she survived on me. She thrived because of me. Some days in spite of me. But she thrived. Just a moment that she’s been growing. And really, in the grand scheme, that is all it is. A moment.

She is only four but already, some days, I wonder how we got here. Here where she gets dressed by herself and gets in the car by herself and buckles by herself. Here where she runs off to school and back again and happily moves through her world, creating her life. Here where we talk about friends and we discuss plans and we squeal together over the season’s first blooms and here where we sit quietly together, just enjoying our company.

Baby and me shadows

Does anyone remember how we got here?

I wonder because then, I look at him. His chubby little baby legs, still wobbly and not always there for him. His mouth, half filled with teeth but still so many craters, from which grunts and screams and cries stream out amidst occasional dribbles of giggles. He needs for everything and wants for it all and we still have such a long way to go.

new shoes

And yes, he too used to be so small. Really it was just this morning, wasn’t it? Just half a breath ago that he needed me to carry him from place to place. A nanomoment that he’s been growing. But some days it feels much longer. As though with all this time, we should be further along. Not here. Here where I try to slide pants over feet that refuse to stay in one place. Here where an arched back is my arch nemesis and we battle every morning in the driveway. Here where he either runs or clings and it’s always running when I need him close and clinging when I need him to run. Here where I want to talk with him about friends and about plans and about life and I want to squeal with him too and oh how I want to know what his voice sounds like when it wraps itself around words and thoughts. And I want us to sit quietly together. But we are just not there. Because we are here.

boy and mama

And I wonder how we’ll do it.

Because it doesn’t seem fair, to have walked this road once before only to find that in the time I was gone, the scenery and the path itself have changed. I swore I left breadcrumbs along the way the last time, you know, marking the miles and the turns, just in case I came back. But they’re gone now. Carried away by birds I suppose.

And I know the path should change. No two paths should ever be the same. I’d cry for him if his were the same as hers. He needs his own.

But oh if it doesn’t make things hard. And oh how I wonder about how we got here. And how we’ll get there.


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