Dear Beautiful Girl-
I realized, this week, that you will grow.
Let me back up. Of course you will grow. I spent hours, days, weeks, tracing your too-skinny arms with hopeful fingers and praying, willing, begging for you to grow. I wished with so much force that a part of me got stuck wishing, locked in desperate fast forward, always seeking the next pound, the next milestone, the next reassurance that you would stay here and be one of us and thrive and grow.
But this week I held the feather-light sweetness of your tiny newborn friend in my arms and realized I could no longer remember you so small. I know it was only months ago that you, too, were a firefly of a thing, so full of otherworldly magic and mystery and easily lifted in palms and fingers, perched on forearms, crooked in an elbow. I knew it, holding tiny she, but couldn’t reconcile awake and wildly you with your former tiny self, any more that I could connect you there first squirming on my deflated belly with the bumps and wiggles I’d carried inside it. It hit me then, a knot the size of always just under my lungs, that you will grow.
You will grow, and that is good, and that is everything. Those tiny jumping sneakers will shrink before my eyes as your toes exceed them. You will sit, you will crawl, you will walk, you will run. We will lay to rest countless storage boxes of outgrown clothes in basement tombs and sigh over pictures of the bitty onceling you were. We will blow out candles and buy school books and meet boyfriends and suddenly it all seems so fleeting I’m not sure I can breathe.
You will grow. And as you do, we will say goodbye to each girl that you were as we welcome the new one you are becoming. I will celebrate and mourn with every milestone, miss you and meet you in every day.
You will grow, tiny beautiful girl, but don’t hurry. Hold with stubborn fists to that other place, that miraculous twilight from which you came. The glittering dust of it will fade from you, gradually, as it should, as you become one of us here, laughing and climbing and skinning your knees. But I will fight with all that I am to anchor you to it, to help you squirrel a little magic into pockets for far off future rainy days. As long as we can, you and I, we will live in the fairy light. We will cherish your baby breaths and sweet innocent dreams and the perfect wonder of discovering this home.
We have years to learn the names of all the trees. For now, let’s just lie here and watch them grow.