I just don’t know where the time has gone. Eleven years ago today I checked into the hospital to give birth to my first, and only, child. I still remember every detail as if it were yesterday. Actually, my short term memory sucks, now, so if it had happened yesterday I would probably not remember it as well as I remember eleven years ago.
I just don’t know where the time has gone. See, I already said that – lousy short term memory.
I began a book of letters I write to Punky when she was born. I haven’t always been as faithful to writing to her as I wanted to be, but I do write her on her birthday each year. On the day she was born I wrote my first letter. There’s one part of that letter that really sticks out for me, “No matter what twists or turns our relationship takes in our lives together I hope you will always know how much I love you, that I will always be there for you, and that you are the best thing I ever did.” Punky is turning into a young woman. I can see it clearly. Along with the beginning obvious physical signs, there is an ‘air’ about her that shows me she is leaning more and more into womanhood and away from being a little girl. Sigh. I miss the little feet and hands (those adorable dimples). I miss the soft texture of little girl hair, and the tiny button nose. I miss how easily she fit into my lap. I would think that every mother feels some level of sadness about this, but my heart aches with a pain that I cannot seem to shake. It makes me wonder if it is because she is my ‘only’?
I wouldn’t trade the last 10 years, 364 days for anything, not anything. I would, however, trade time to get time back. Impossible, I know. Some would say, ‘Only look ahead, not behind.’ Whatever, this is how I feel. To be allowed to go back to when Punky was about two and do it all again would be the greatest gift. I don’t wish it so I can do things differently, although there are a few things I would like to have done differently, I wish it just so I can enjoy all those moments again with my 2 year old, 3 year old, 4 year old, and so on. I want to delight in the ‘little girl’ she was all over again and not because I don’t delight in the young woman she’s becoming, but it is so different. I do look forward to the time I get with her helping her grow into the beautiful, talented, delightful woman I know she will be. I will hold her hand the whole way - no matter how large that hand is - and love her the whole way. But what's on my heart today, this last day with my ten year old, is this wish, no matter how inappropriate it may be.