You have all the time in the world to grow up, and I only have a few short years to call you my little girl.
Already you talk of boys, cold creams, and how embarrassing it is to have people see you being cradled in my arms. So these arms only squeeze you tighter, wishing they could squeeze you back into being my little girl.... knowing they will have to open soon to let you go. To let you grow.
I see you sometimes watching me with sadness and longing when I'm holding your baby sister. Swinging her up and down, holding her tiny hand to help across the room. I don't do these things because I love her more. I do these things because I still can. I'm strong enough to throw and catch her mid-air. I hold her hand to cross the room because she needs me to, she with her shaky and uncertain legs that just learned how to walk.
Would you let me still swing you in my arms (do I have the upper body strength to do so? Hahaha!)? Will you still let me hold your hand as we walk? Often you walk ahead of me, so eager to see what's around the next corner. Or worse --- you run ahead of me, because I'm walking too slowly and you are in a rush to get to what's next.
Slow down. Please. Slow down.
I waited so long for you. Missed so much the first 3 years of your life. Is it so wrong to want to squeeze the most out of every minute we have together now?
My favorite part of the day is when it's time to sleep. Because when we lie down it's time for you to be still. And you'll let me hold you and cradle you in my arms until you fall asleep. And when you do I can spend hours watching you, without you feeling self-conscious of my stare. I can marvel at how big you've grown, how beautiful you've become, and how, when you're asleep, you look more like the little girl you still are, instead of the 7-going-on-40 year old you can sometimes be.
Little girl, what's the rush?
Stay mine a little while longer.