In light of Lane turning 7 months old in 2 days and thus another blog post, today I decided that I wanted to look back at all of the Letters to Lane that I've written to her each month on her "birthday."
And then I burst into tears.
My baby girl is almost not a baby anymore. I lay in her room, nursing her at 5 or 5:30 a.m. each morning and I marvel at her beautiful body, at her smooth skin, at her sweet spirit. This morning, after she had finished and lay sleeping next to me, I placed my hand on her stomach, and her little hand came to mine and grasped it. And I thought, "Please, never let go."
I look at her, smiling up at me and babbling with her gummy grin, and I know that soon she'll have teeth, a sure sign that she's growing up.
I watch her as she pulls up on the furniture, rolls around on the floor, flicks at the bee on her strawberry teether, observes the pattern on the rug, or is fascinated by the wind blowing in her face from the ferry boat, and I know that all too soon she'll be distracted and enthralled by boys, makeup, clothes, and other less wholesome things than a new flavor of food or a new texture to feel.
I want to capture her sweetness and innocence in a bottle so that I can pull it out and bask in it anytime I want to over the rest of my life. I want to capture her curiosity and her joy, yet in every video or photo I take, something seems to be missing. I look at the videos, trying to decide which ones to keep and which ones to delete (because let's face it, I can't keep all of them: I don't have the space on my hard drive. And some of them can be pretty boring when I'm trying to get something good but she's not cooperating), but I don't want to delete any of them, because one day it's all I'll have to remind me of her. My baby daughter. The brilliant, sweet, happy, piece of my life that I never knew was missing until I had her.
I want to spend every second of my day holding her, spoon-feeding her peaches and zucchini, watching her discover the world. Listening to her babble, watching her put the 500th toy in her mouth and feel it with her tongue, holding her as she feels the water from the shower pouring over her head or as a gust of wind catches her off guard and she looks for it. Lying with her at 5 a.m. after I've fed her and she's still and content lying next to me, or watching her gaze intently, searching for the sound coming from my guitar as I practice songs for church each week. I want time to stand still until I've had my fill of her chubby cheeks, her belly and knees squeaking on the floor as she crawls and scoots around, and yogurt and peaches smeared on her face and the table in front of her.
She's growing up already. And it makes me sad.