But every once in a while, something strikes me, and I'm stunned at the warp-speed of time, especially when it comes to my kids. They seem to age little by little, growing bigger/older/sassier in tiny increments that are sometimes only barely noticeable while it's happening. Until, one day, without warning, they just wake up bigger. Like, markedly bigger. Like they hit some tipping point or crossed an invisible threshold into the next stage. It happens when they're still tiny- one day you look at them, and they're not a lump anymore...they're a real tiny human. Sure, a tiny human with barely any perceivable talents, but they look at you with some sort of knowing that shows you you no longer have an infant on (and in) your hands. Then it happens again to your baby...the grown and change, and learn to walk and maybe even talk a little, and then one day: you have a toddler. And it goes on from there. The toddler limbs lengthen out, the knee dimples disappear, they strangely start saying their "th" sounds correctly and all of a sudden- you have a kid. What? Where did you come from? Did I blink too long by accident?
And so childhood goes on in this fashion...small tortoise movements, slow glacial pace...and then giant leap, dramatic change...then back to steadiness before the next burst.
So after a season of slow growth and change, Piper had a burst, and now I've found myself marveling at this kid we've suddenly inherited. Maybe it's her big girl bed, maybe it's the way her pants stop just short of her ankles, maybe it's how she effortlessly parrots our phrases to calm her sister down...Or it might be how she rides her tricycle down the street without looking back, or that she tells me she's not scared of bugs because she's way bigger than them.
Or...it maybe...it's her new haircut.
Maybe somehow, trimming up our shaggy-mopped toddler, suddenly exposed the grown up girl she was already becoming.
And maybe it's not even the haircut itself...but rather, the way she waited patiently for her turn, boldly hoped to be seated at the purple station, or was able to tell us she was scared of the clippers,
Maybe it's how tiny she appeared in the booster seat and cape...
...contrasted with the big, confident kid who beamed at herself in the mirror, and hopped down to get her lollipop reward.
It's probably all of it. A sea of ordinary happenings and events, that occasionally and suddenly add up to a dramatic transformation.
And so it goes with my heart. These tiny people test and strain, and grow and change me in minute ways every day...I love them a little, and a little more. I'm willing to give, and give a little more. It goes and goes until eventually I find myself having a moment where I'm surprised by the person they've shaped me into, and almost don't recognize the life I've been given. How did we get here? How did we get them? How did we become us? Slowly, slowly slowly, boom.
We have a very big girl in our house now. And I'm excited to enjoy this next season of slow growth with her and her cute new 'do...Until I blink again, and she's off to college.
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