No more a baby, not quite a child. The world around you frustrates as much as it delights. It amazes and astounds. It frightens and intimidates. The words to describe it not quite formed, your feelings apparent but not voiced.
Tread carefully as you go forward, little girl, for you may stumble, you may fall. You will get up again. It may not seem it then, but it will be ok. And you will try again, perhaps with more caution, but perhaps less. Your mind is not set in the direction of danger yet and it is too easily forgot.
As the large things pass you by, the small things amuse you. A plane in the sky, and another, another, another. The plane that flies low then zooms high, twisting and turning as it goes, is of little interest once it’s been noted.
The dolls litter the house, everywhere we turn there is another one, abandoned, half dressed. But the one you want is in your sister’s hands. None of the others are any good, just that one. You ask nicely, as you’ve been taught, but when it doesn’t work, you screech. Then you lunge forward, grabbing at its limbs, then, unyielding, you grasp for your sister’s hair. She screams, you scream louder. You let go of her hair, but remain frustrated that the doll remains in her arms so you lean down and connect your mouth to her arm. You bite down and her screams escalate. We come through and separate you. Chastise you for hurting her. Chastise her for not understanding your immature brain.
She is always in trouble, even when it’s not her. You are too little to be in trouble. This will have to change now. It’s not fair on her. You can talk, you can understand our conversation. You can understand right from wrong. Your brain may not be able to process it in the heat of the moment, but it needs to learn. And as it does so, the baby in you will disappear and the child will emerge, with reason and care and empathy. I dread this as much as I look forward to it. A metamorphosis that is inevitable but marks the end of being mummy to a fully dependent human being. You will still need me, but you will cope without me. You will explore and make friends and discover without my help and I can only stand by and watch as it happens, there to manage the moments when it still overwhelms.
You will always be my baby, but I will watch you grow, watch you try and fail, watch you try and succeed. And as those successes multiply, so too will your independence and you will fly higher than the planes you love to spot, soaring above the world, delighting in all it has to offer you. Spread your wings little girl and take flight. I am right here on the ground, ready to catch you.