There is a kids’ book, perhaps you have read it or you own it, by Marianne Richmond titled “If I Could Keep you Little.” The theme of the book is the desire of parents to have it both ways – to have their child be both a little baby and a growing, maturing, independent child. Right now, being in the little, I have the opposite struggle of the mother in the book. I keep reminding myself to treasure these days of little-ness.
|Annie and her buddy Hank share a moment.|
Because I have a tendency to look ahead. To think about how great it will be to walk hand-in-hand with Annie through the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings. How much fun we will have playing on the playground slide and monkey bars and swings. To imagine trips with her to big cities and seeing her eyes light up and her mouth open in wonder at the tall buildings and fascinating sights. To think about dressing her for ballet class or soccer games or whatever it is that strikes her fancy. I get all giddy with excitement when I think about these things.
The same kind of giddy I got while I was pregnant, thinking about my precious baby whom I would meet soon. When I thought endlessly of her tiny baby fingers and her perfect baby nose. When I imagined holding her close late at night, rocking her to sleep. When I looked so forward to leaning over as I held her and sniffing her sweet baby smell. How quickly those days are passing.
|"Grandma gave me a whole biscuit at breakfast."|
As I struggle against my tendency to think of the days to come instead of the present, I remind myself of all the wonderful things I didn’t anticipate. Of the things I figured would be pretty cool, but completely underestimated. Things like the sweet sound of my baby girl’s laughter when we kiss and tickle her bare feet. The precious way her mouth transforms into a small bow when she says “da-doo” (which must mean something like “that” to her because she points and says it to us an awful lot). The way witnessing her first steps brought instant tears to my eyes and the pride she clearly has each time she walks a few steps farther by herself. The way she crawls toward me like she’s in a Fastest Baby race when she sees me at the doorway of her daycare classroom at the end of the day. The way her face completely lights up when her daddy walks in the door after work.
|They are my favorites, you know.|
I guess my point is that as many wonderful days as we have ahead, as fun as Annie the pre-schooler and Annie the little girl, and (God help us) Annie the teenager will be, the Annie of right now is really quite spectacular. And I don’t want to miss a second of that by being wrapped up in looking forward.