She is growing up too fast.  Showing advances every day that I am not ready to see.  Wanting to be big like her sisters while I pray she stays small like I see her in my mind.

Morphing to a toddler before my eyes, she now says words I can understand, runs with her sisters, and pretends to use the potty.

All good things – if I wanted her to grow.

But when I want her small, so that she can continue to fit perfectly in the curl of my arm, the denial of her maturity can run rampant.  When I know that her little head won’t bury perfectly in my neck, and her hands will grab my palm, instead of my finger, how do I keep a tear from falling?

What will I do without a baby?  I’ve had nothing but babies for a while now.  How will I adjust to the permanent change of the adjective from “baby girl” to “little girl”?  And the reality that there will be no more babies for us?

It is a bittersweet truth that children will grow.  That they will learn and develop aspirations and goals.  And, as a mother, I should take pride in every accomplishment.  Boastfully display any skill that may be new or exciting for them.

But I don’t want to.  For some reason, I do not want my third one to grow.  I want her a baby forever – or at least a little longer.  So I can drink her in more.  Implant more of this time in my memory.  Take more pictures.  Laugh more at her antics.  Learn more from her innocence.

And when she comes out of her sister’s room, having freely enjoyed her exploring without being told to leave because they are in preschool, and I see that she is wearing heels…  Cinderella blue ones…  I don’t want to immediately think, “this is too fast”.  I want to think…  “Wow, how cute!”

And I don’t want my heart to lodge in my throat…  knowing she is growing up too fast.