hidden milestones

I feel incredibly emotional today. I am choking back tears and feel like what little energy I have is slowly seeping out of me, like a small tear in an inflatable raft, its not noticeable until you notice it, and then it’s just a disaster — plain and simple.

Today is a normal day. My oldest daughter is at day camp. They are going on a field trip to a local museum/park for the day. She will be going to a public place under the supervision of people who are not me, my husband, or her grandparents. This is the first time this is happening and I didn’t realize it was a big deal until an hour after I dropped her off. I started thinking of how mature she seemed when she jumped out of the car, confidently shut her own door, and walked across the street with the counselor. I know she needs to be responsible for her own belongings. This camp requires her to be more independent than she’s used to, and she’s doing great.

She is tackling new challenges. Every single day. She is doing things that are outside of her comfort zone. She is trying to forge new relationships out of nowhere. All of this newness. All of this independence. All of these tests. All of these things that I helped her with that she can now do on her own, that she could do on her own. She doesn’t need me like she used to.

The other day, she was running around the house in a hyper-energetic state. She was jumping over wash baskets and sprinting down the hallway. She fell, hard. She started to sob, and as the tears streamed down her face I went to scoop her up in my arms, like I always do when she is crying or scared. I protectively life her up and hold her, hoping to absorb all pain and fear into my body and provide her with security and healing. Something was different this time. I couldn’t scoop her up and hold her like I used to. She was too big. Her legs were too long, her body too heavy to carry with ease.

Things were different. Our world shifted, changed. My heart broke a little in that moment. She was growing, and it hurt. How did I not take notice that she was growing so fast? How could this hit me by surprise? My little girl is not a little girl anymore. She is simply a girl — a girl with is growing, learning, and experiencing.

One thing that I did not expect from seeing her grow is how inspiring she would be. Here she is tacking all of these challenges and overcoming obstacles. How often do I do things that are outside of my comfort zone. How often am I trying new things? Do I ask for help when I need it? I need to start to be more like my five-year-old. Time to try.

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