Our daughter will turn seven in a few months. It hurts sometimes to say this aloud because I literally feel the passage of time piercing my insides. This week, I felt the sting of this even more because her first grade teacher asked if I would share a memory of her toddler years.

I still remember all of the particulars of that day in the green grass. The blue sky loomed over us and felt like a part of us because of what it witnessed. Wisps of her light brown hair touched her face and she smiled every time she felt it tickle the corner of her eye.  Her pants were a little too long, but her shirt hugged her tight so we could make out the six-pack of rolls that hid underneath. She didn’t quite understand the grass and only focused on it when she tried to take her first steps without any assistance. That is what I remember.

Grabbing my hand wasn’t an option she wanted to pursue. Instead, she walked on her own. Her spirit and will is something I will never forget. If she fell, she got back up. Smiling, the gaze of her eyes, said, “I did it on my own Momma.” There was a pride in her face that words couldn’t express. I knew in my heart that this was the first important lesson of mothering a child. A continuum of witnessing  her grow and knowing that this was the beginning of letting her go.
Looking at this particular picture of her, I ask myself: How did we get here? How did almost seven years pass without me feeling the presence of time moving forward?  Now she is not only walking, but running, riding her bike, contorting in all different directions to perform the latest cart-wheel or backbend or flip.
I keep uttering the same two words: remember when.