I swore it wouldn't happened. SHE PROMISED it wouldn't happen. Well, at least I THOUGHT that's what she was saying. Apparently I got the wrong message or she didn't get the memo (and if she did, she crumpled it up and threw it under her bed).
(rewind) A little over 10 years ago, I found myself 19, and (*gulp) pregnant. NOT what I had in my life plan. Of course, my life plan had children in it. But not before a.) I was out of college and more importantly b.) before I was married! But, it happened. June 2002 she came into my world. SHE is my oldest daughter. Rah-Rah (nothing to do with her actual name, but what her little sister could say when she was a baby). She was born perfectly healthy and beautiful. I was scared to death. She was MINE. I was responsible for this tiny little human. God gave me the job to raise her and teach her everything I knew.
I had an emergency c-section with her so I spent a few extra days in the hospital. My mom was in the OR when she was born and she and my dad were there every day and my Mom even stayed the first 2 nights with me. But then, she had to get decent sleep and get back to work. So, there I was. Night #3 in the hospital. Alone. With this beautiful baby girl depending on ME! And I was scared. I cried that night when my mom headed out for the evening. I cried some more when I sat there alone with my new baby. But we made a deal that night. I was rocking her and talking to her about our future. I didn't know where it would lead her or us. But, I promised that I would be there every step of the way to make sure she was taken care of and had everything her precious little heart ever could hope for. I promised to love her more than any other love she could imagine. And, with her big blue eyes, she looked up at me and PROMISED that we were in this together. She promised to stay my little girl forever ... I am SURE of it.
* side note * Now, I completely understand that along the way I couldn't give her EVERYTHING her little heart desired. I have had to deny her a few trips to McDonalds, an iPod here or there or the newest coolest toy. But, I like to think I have given her everything else. I think I held up my end of the deal. I loved her and STILL love her with my entire being. But then it happened ....
(fast forward 9.5 years) Suddenly it dawned on me the other day. She grew up on me. She isn't my little baby girl that I rocked that scary night in the hospital. All of a sudden, with some shirts, she needs a bra. All of a sudden she needs deodorant. All of a sudden, my silly dances that made her giggle with delight ... embarrass her. I am THAT mom. She gives me that "oh my goodness I can't believe you are my MOTHER" look. It really got me on New Years Eve when she wanted to go to a friends house instead of ringing in the new year with Mom, Dad and little sisters!
But, I haven't lost all hope. Sometimes, when I do the dances, she asks for more. Sometimes, when I am doing a goofy voice, she joins in. Maybe I shouldn't have done the dance in front of her friend .... whoops. (in my defense, I wasn't TRYING to embarrass Rah-Rah, I didn't even notice they were standing there ... I DO have 2 more little children who are still thoroughly entertained by my dancing and silly voices). She still loves to play dress-up and make believe. She loves playing babies and barbies with her little sister. She is still only 9. But,
Even with her growing up, as fast as it's happening and as much as I long for those quiet nights in the hospital that we spent getting to know each other. I love that we can turn the radio up and sing together when a song we both love comes on the radio. I love that we can go shopping and just hang out and talk. I love that I can teach her crafts that I love and that she enjoys doing them too! I love when she tells me about a new book that she read that was also a favorite of mine! She is such an awesome 9 year old and I DO love watching her grow. But what has it taught me?
Maybe I will sing 5 little Monkeys ... ONE MORE TIME ... with J because one day, she won't want me to sing it to her anymore. I will play babies with her because soon enough, she will be "too big" to play babies. I will snuggle on the couch for just 5 more minutes before bed, because pretty soon, she won't want snuggles.
And what about Baby K? You can find me rocking her to sleep and singing to her, just like I did Rah-Rah, just like I did J. I have promised her I will love HER with my entire being, just like I DO Rah-Rah and just like I do J. And you better believe, I tell her an EXTRA 5 times a day ... don't grow up. I think I got through with this one. Her big blue eyes promised me that she won't.