What used to seem like forever is quickly coming to its natural end.
I've never been the kind of mother who ached for what was. I've always been eager to see you grow, and change, and attack the world with a ferocity that made me laugh when you were small. Only now I look at you in awe as you became a young woman. A determined, proud, beautiful young woman.
The person I've always wanted to be. How amazing you are, my Rose.
But I have to say, this last year, with your leaving imminent... I've been unable to shake the streaming slideshow in my head. The reliving of your childhood.
How your hand fit into mine. How you always wanted me to hold you. I can still see the betrayal in your eyes when I was pregnant with Tess and you were too big to hold. Do you remember? I took you swimming almost every sunny day that summer just so I could hold you, weightless in the water. Your wet hair clinging to my shoulder. Salty kisses. Your never ending chant: Mommy, mommy, mommy.
Each halloween costume, even the one you stole when you were 18 months old-- simply grabbed it from a lower rack and I didn't notice until I put you in the car seat. When did you leave the car seat? There you are in my head, a flip book of years as you grew older and taller than me.
I wasn't scared to be your mother. The moment you were born, I was born. I took you, all swaddled up and ran this marathon of life. And at every turn, I had the comfort of knowing that I was doing things so I could spend more time with you.
Time that slipped away. We've done okay.
Oh, babe. Please remember that even whey you fly, I'm still doing all of it in order to be there for you. And know that all this growing up can be cushioned by the fact that no matter how old you get, or how far you go, I'll always take you swimming.
And I'll hold you, weightless in the water... so close to me. I'll hold you and give you salty, mommy kisses.