My heart is warm. Actually it’s flowing over with love right now, as I watch my daughter sitting in the water, playing with the wet sand, enjoying this beautiful day on the beach. I watch her from a bit further away. Watch how she drops the wet sand on her arm, watching as it drops down into the water while leaving a little trace on her skin.
This beautiful innocence. The content she has with herself and the moment. This living in the moment. It gets to me. It makes me happy, it makes me sentimental.
I watch her look up, smile at me, wave and hear her say “I love you mommy.” I love you too, my baby.
She is no longer a baby though.
There are only 15cm left until she, as well, will be taller than me. Soon she will rock her double digits and given the speed of how the last 10 years passed by she will soon be a grown woman.
I wonder where the content will be then. I wonder if she will keep the living in the moment thing. I wonder if I will be able to go to the beach with her then and if she will sit in the water still and play with the sand. Probably not. It will be different. It always changes.
The moments we cherish the most with our children, when they are babies or toddlers, kids or teenagers, they all change. They change like our worries. People say they grow. The worries. They grow with the children, they change with the changes our children go through. While we worry about them falling over when they do their first steps we worry about so much more when they are teenagers. In the end though it’s a constant taking first steps for them. For all of us. All the time. All those moments we cherish, all those moments we worry, they come and go. Just like waves.
While I sit and watch her, I feel so much love. So much love but at the same time I also feel sad. I know that I can stand, sit or swim in the ocean and feel incredibly light. I know that I enjoy those moments and they are bliss to me. But is it the same my daughter feels now?
Life changes so much when you grow up. This soft self of us grows and gets harder and steadier and more mature. Just like a tree. They are so soft, those little seedlings. You can bend them and you have to be gentle not to break them. Just like children they don’t know any harm. And they grow. And at one point they reach a point where the outer layer is hard. You can no longer bend them but you can’t break them either. While I like the idea of that protecting outer skin I also miss the softness of it. Just like with us adults.
And I wonder when her softness will start to harden.
If only I could make her keep it but also protect her from getting hurt.
While I watch her I know that this moment will soon be a memory. A memory in form of a picture and in form of a feeling. For both of us.
I’m enjoying seeing her grow up but at the same time I so want her to stay this beautiful, innocent, unharmed, happy, light, bright and loving person she is. I know she will keep those features but will she have to build a wall in order to protect them? Will she get hurt because she didn’t manage to grow a thicker skin? Will she be around the right people to support her, protect her, carry her, let her carry herself, let her be who she truly is?
I wish it would be possible to conserve this moment, the feeling she must have right now in a jar, ready for her to take out when she wants more of it in the future and conserve. I wish you could put that feeling into something she could fall back on when she needs it. Something she could take out, open up and refill her soul with it whenever she feels like it. I wish I could turn it into a book that I could give her when I feel she needs it, just like a recipe book. I know though, that it’s not possible.
Just like waves this moment will come and go. Now and in her future.