This evening I watched you play. I watched you jump on the trampoline and giggle and kick the ball and screech as you ran from “it.” I watched you in your new t-shirt, one size bigger than those we recently discarded and I thought to myself what a beautiful girl you are, growing and growing in so many ways.
You made a corral for your horses in our backyard this weekend. Nevermind the fact that we don’t have any horses to put in there—facts are no match for your imagination. You are resourceful, and though I am not surprised I am still struck dumb sometimes with the wonder that is you, that is your creative mind. Daddy said you helped him wash the cars today and when you couldn’t reach the roof to wipe away the drips before they became spots in the sunshine you pulled the step ladder from the garage and you got the job done. So simple, so resourceful. Something totally reasonable and yet yesterday I would not have expected if from you, but today you did it. This is what it’s like to watch you grow up. You’re getting it done.
The changes in you lately are important ones, small and yet so huge the world turns on them. This is maturity. The way you jump in to help without being asked. They way you don’t just notice others, you consider them; you care for them; you concern yourself with them where they are. That is not a child’s way, it is the way of maturity. I see it in you.
I have always seen you as my “little.” My little girl, quintessentially so, even as the years have ticked by. You are almost nine now but there was a time when you were three and four and six and seven, all those little ages, and I have always admired your ability to stay so young even among your peers. You call me Mommy or Momma. Your favorite pastime is snuggling. You beg me to read you picture books, you need to go to bed early, and there’s nothing you love more than your family. When your siblings grab the spotlight you cheer them on. Your smile and your laugh make me smile, make me laugh. Your joy is contagious.
You are growing up. Still my little girl, but growing in all the right ways, in grace and faith. I am in awe of these glimpses of the young woman you are becoming even as I continue to tuck you in at night with a story and a kiss. Tonight is one more night. Tomorrow you will be older and wiser, but still playing horse in the backyard with your sister.
What a sight to behold, this growing up.