Monday, August 19, 2013

Metamorphosis



My daughter, my beautiful butterfly, I watch as the baby in you fades and a little girl emerges.

Your chubby cheeks slim and reveal high, broad cheekbones. Your legs stretch and lengthen, and rolls of baby fat disappear from around your thighs.

You take greater command of your body each day, exploring new places and new heights. I'm just as likely to find you atop the climbing wall at the playground as I am atop the kitchen table. This newfound bravery wears me out sometimes -- your growing size keeping pace with huge reserves of energy and curiosity.

And speaking of curiosity, how many questions will I answer today? We have conversations, complete with your opinions, demands and lists of favorite things. When I say "Goodnight." You say, "Goodnight", also. My words"I love you" are returned with "I love you too". My heart is warmed each time, as if I'm hearing them for the first time.

You have friends, some real and some stuffed, thanks to an imagination that takes us to faraway places and on silly adventures. We share tea out of miniature cups and saucers, and call Grammy on a make-believe phone.

Nothing pleases me more than to be the one who witnesses your growth -- even if it means I have to be the one who mourns the baby becoming a memory. It's one of the many paradoxes of being a parent. I celebrate you, as I let you go.

When I look at the pictures of you taken as an infant and, later, as a baby, I see how you changed then. It’s crazy, but I didn't seem to notice how you grew into a baby, at the time. I can't believe that you ever fit in the crook of my arm.

I feel completely sure that I’m not going to forget this moment. I'm not going to forget you becoming a little girl. Yet…

I’ve decided to write it down, so I know that I watched you transform from a baby to a little girl. I want to remember this time, make a record of it. I want proof that we were here together for this magical metamorphosis, my daughter, my beautiful butterfly.


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Photo source: Hannes Grobe/AWI; 2010

36 comments:

  1. Ok, this left me in tears and was so beautiful Rachel. I know this feeling well and have watched it with both my girls now. Very bittersweet. we want them to grow and become their own persons, yet that little baby we had is no longer really in existence. Thanks for sharing and as always you really leave me in such thought!!

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    1. Thank you, Janine! I think we all go through the same thing.

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    1. Thank you. I felt teary writing it! And happy!

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  3. Absolutely beautiful! It is so bittersweet watching them grow up. And it is wonderful that you've recorded it. :)

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    1. I've already seemed to have forgotten so much! I hope writing this down will mean I remember it!

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  4. Rachel, this is so beautiful! My lil miss, my baby, is now hitting the tweenie years at almost 11 years old. I can still see the little girl on most days, but every once in a while, the young lady that she could become shines through! Thank you so much for sharing and keep recording every moment that you can...they grow so fast! Have a great week!

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    1. I remember seeing those glimpses, as a teacher of 11 year olds! It's an amazing age!

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  5. So beautifully put! It's true, they transform so completely from being a baby to toddler - and yet, there is a part of them that lingers in the baby state.

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  6. I can reflect with this....my daughter just turned two..and she is still my baby in some ways but I can see her growing up and asserting her opinions.

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    1. Yes! I read your post! We are clearly on the same page and at the same age!

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  7. Recording it keeps the memory locked up and fresh for all time. You can take it out and remember . . .
    Like I do when I'm watching my kids with their kids.
    Thank you for this beautiful post!

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    1. Kids with their kids. Feels so far away. I'm sure it will be here too quickly!

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  8. Rachel,
    This is amazingly beautiful. I know exactly what you mean about "I celebrate you, as I let you go." That line. Tears. It's both awe-inspiring and heartbreaking to watch the baby fat grow away...Thank you for this today. I needed it.

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    1. Glad it was what you needed today, Kristi!

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  9. Celebrating growth and mourning the baby lost to it, I know that feeling ohhhhhhhhh so well. It's great that you're documenting everything, I did that too. :)

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    1. I know you've been there a few times, Rosey! Now...grandkids!

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  10. So very true! I enjoy watching my girls grow up and look forward to seeing what kind of women they become. However, it is always a little sad to leave each stage behind. Very bittersweet.

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  11. Cherish every moment - my daughter is 12 now and I honestly don't know where the time has gone!

    Kate x
    Kate at Home

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    1. I know that I'm going to feel the same way, Kate.

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  12. My 12mo old, Henry, is sleeping behind me now—his little boot in the air. And here I am, a puddle trying to stifle itself. He's already grown out of that cradle my arms once made.

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  13. Rachel, I just love the cadence of your words! I haven't had a lot of time to blog hop, but I'm planning to catch up. I just wanted to stop and say hi and read your latest, which was beautiful! Have a good one!

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  14. Beautiful post, Rachel! I watch in amazement as my 19-month-old little girl changes each and every day. Amazing how quickly they grow!

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  15. I have a picture of my daughter when she was little wearing a little flowered jacket. When I put it on her, I swear that was the moment that I realized that she wasn't a baby anymore. They grow so fast-I'm trying to enjoy every moment of it. This was beautiful-thank you for writing it. :-)

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  16. So beautiful. I love the way you write. Today I sat at the doctor's office with Isaiah and as he sat next to me looking like such a big boy, I longed so much for the days he had to sit in my lap because he was so nervous. I got a little teary when it really hit me that we will never go backwards. Not ever.

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  17. Beautiful post!! Zane is changing each day before my eyes as well!

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  18. Wow, Rachel, that is so beautiful. I read your posts out of order this week, and I can't believe you had two posts back to back that were so powerful and vivid. I feel the same way about my toddler right now; in fact, I noticed her canines were finally coming in and I felt this wave of sadness. Somehow that gap being filled in inside her mouth will make her look less like a baby and more like a kid. I was so sad about it.

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  19. This was just lovely. At 17 months, my daughter is just now starting to transition out of that baby phase into the little girl phase. It is heartwrending and unbelievable to think about how a year ago, she was just learning to sit up on her own and now she would jump off the sofa if I let her ;D

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  20. So beautiful! TIme flies, doesn't it? And having kiddos around only seems to magnify that fact.

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  21. Aww...how sweet, simply beautiful Rachel!! They do grow up soooo fast! Our daughter came over a few weeks ago, so we all got to sit around the kitchen table and catch up. To our kids' surprise, I pulled out a suitcase that I've had since they were babies, filled with things from their childhood(their first book bags, their cap and gown from Kindergarten, their first bibs, clothing they wore on baby, toddler and school pics that are on our bookshelves and so on and so). I didn't realize how many memories it would bring back, but boy it did! Can you imagine seeing a teenager and two 20 something year olds beaming as they looked at items from their past? I find myself looking in it every now and then. If you haven't I suggest you save some of your daughters items. She will cherish them when she's older. Our kids sure do! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely tribute to your daughter Rachel and thanks for linking up! Have a good one!

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  22. Beautiful. How lucky is she to be able to read this later and know how much you appreciate her. <3

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  23. This is a wonderful story, it is amazing how quickly they change and morph into a small independent child with a mind of their own. My youngest is two and it is has been an amazing journey watching him morph into a fine young boy. I have two older kids as well, my daughter will be 17 and is morphing into a young lady and my oldest son will be 13 those difficult teen years are upon me again and he is turning into a young man as well.

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  24. Yep, I have two little girls and crying as I read this! What a great reminder to take a minute to document these stages that they pass through SO quickly...I always think I am going to remember, but my mom reminds me that that isn't the case :)

    Dawn from I Think We Could Be Friends.com

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