Sometimes life comes along and kicks you in the gut with the sudden awareness of how quickly your kids are growing up. We always knew we wanted to have more kids after Mac so even though she was (and always will be) our Baby Girl, because we knew we wanted more we knew she would always seem older and like the Big Sister in the family. My mom used to comment that she would look at me as we walked through the mall and she would swear that she could see me grow. I know now how she feels. One day we are precariously watching Mac for signs that she is ready to wear the next size up diaper or onesie and the next we are busy battling stores on what is appropriate for a size 5T or 6 little girl. One day we are listening to every babble and giggle trying to assess whether she has said her first word and the next we are teaching her how to read those words. One day we are soothing her back to sleep and the next she is holding Johnny's hand as he falls asleep in the car seat. One day we are comforting her when she is in pain and the next she is telling Keegan, "It's okay sweet baby girl, we love you, it's okay." One day we are barely able to brush the sweet little fuzz on her head into a clippie bow and the next I am arguing over whether to put her hair into one braid or two pony tails.
Today was one such day that we argued over her hair and with usual Mommy vs. Daughter stubbornness we went back and forth. I didn't want to take the time to put her hair in two braids as we had several errands to run, but she was insistent. I finally convinced her to do one braid and as I told her to turn around and show me how pretty she was (like I do every day after I fix the girls hair) I was struck by how old she was. It hurt. It was like one of those movies where the camera zooms in and out really quickly and everything gets foggy on the edges. It also made me so happy, to think about the amazing kid that she is. But as she tucked a lose hair behind one ear and flashed her dimple at me with her crooked smile, a little part of me thought, "Slow down, slow down" and "Maybe I should have put her hair in two braids..."
God was extra good to me today though. As soon as I thought this, Mac was struck with a random case of the hiccups. And the giggles started from there. And they didn't stop. With each hiccup came another wave of giggles and soon she was a mess of hiccups and giggles that rolled easily into one another. It made me so happy to be reminded that she is still my little girl no matter how old she looks. It was a nice reminder of the time each child spent in my womb where I loved feeling the steady pattern of hiccups when they are growing and developing. And it was well worth the wait to run our errands to let the giggle/hiccup fit run it's course so we could laugh together at how funny it was.
I think I will let Mac choose her hairstyle tomorrow and I will make sure that, when I turn her around, I marvel at the big and little girl that I look at in one.