"I miss my childhood," Maia told Jeff today.
It was a strange thing for her to say, but perhaps less surprising than it might have been. For some reason I've been overly sentimental about my kids in the last few weeks, and I've been sharing it with Maia.
Walking home from the Farmer's Market, with her little hand in mine (while pushing Eva in a stroller with my other hand), I said to her "Maia, right now I'm trying to etch in my heart the feeling of your little hand in mine because I know that your hand is not going to stay little. And some day, you're going to be all grown up and leave me. So I like holding your hand, Maia, and I don't ever want to let go."
Like I said, it's been a common theme over the last few weeks, partially because I feel like I'm finally really enjoying being a mom for the first time in my life. Without an enormous amount of work staring me in the face, I am much more appreciative of the kids, and more realistic that I will always have work to do, but I won't always have them as little kids. They are growing up, way too fast.
Another part of this is that Eva's one-year birthday is rapidly approaching, and her babyhood passing away. She is an absolute delight of a baby, and I'm not ready not to have her as a baby (ahem, but nor am I ready for another baby at this moment). She's weeks away from walking, and talking isn't far away either. Having this time with Eva as a baby has made me feel like I didn't adequately appreciate Maia's babyhood, since I was so busy trying to do my GA work and work for my doctoral classes. I love every day of having Eva as a baby.
Whenever I am snuggling Maia I can't help thinking that she seems so BIG in my arms. She's still a good snuggler, but she's not a cuddly little teddy bear. And I know she's just going to keep getting bigger. So this is when I say, "Maia I want you always to be my little girl, but I know you're going to grow up and leave me."
Today she told me, "Mom, it's ok if I grow up because I'll still be your little girl. And then you and Daddy can come visit me, and I'll make you tea and cake and we'll eat it together and enjoy each other's company. And it will be fun when you visit."
It was a sweet moment, only slightly ruined when Jeff asked if Maia's convent would always have a steady supply of tea and cake.