When I was a little girl, I remember my father saying that the time seemed to go faster the older he got. I never really understood it until you were born. These past few months have just flown by. I guess my life has become more and more busy – three kids, part-time job, daddy studying and working shifts (plus long hours) – that the days turn into weeks turn into months and here you are, nearly five months old… no longer an infant, and becoming more vocal and more mobile with every new day.
Your brothers, too, are growing up. Learning to swim, learning to read, able to shower on their own, and definitely sleeping through the night… a phase in life that hardly seemed possible just a few short years ago. They are becoming well and truly independent (in a lot of ways, at least).
When I first became a mother, I was so excited to see each new milestone. Rolling! Crawling! Eating! First words! First birthday! It was all so surreal, and I looked forward to every new thing… it was almost like I lived my life in anticipation. Since having more children, however, I have realised that these moments will come (even if the wait seems long) and there is no need to rush them. It’s the here and the now that will pass without recognition, if we don’t stop and enjoy it.
Childhood and life can be the same. It can be tempting to look forward to the next year of school, the next move, the next vacation… without realising that we have so many gifts to enjoy right now.
Please don’t rush through your life, my daughter. Enjoy your long sleepy hours, your peek-a-boo and your rides in the baby carrier. Snuggle up and nurse as long as you like. Hold my hand and look into my eyes, and never question that your mama loves you with every breath that she takes.
Enjoy running in the wet grass, taking bubble baths, and reading endless storybooks from the shelf. Savour the days when we eat fish and chips, and then play in the sand with no where to go. You have plenty of time to “grow up.”
No matter how long the day is, I promise the years will go fast – so please enjoy these moments before they are gone. And when you have children of your own, slow down and give all that you have to them. The opportunity will be given only once. And – later when you look back – you will be so glad that you took it.
To read more in this series of letters, visit the Dear Daughter Archives.