When did this happen?

4:59 PM

In the progression of our children's lives, there are very subtle moments that you miss if you don't pay extremely close attention. And to be honest, I'm not sure you don't miss them regardless of how hard you focus. In particular, when did my baby become a little girl? I certainly couldn't pinpoint it, not even close. I just know that one day recently, I looked at her and saw a little girl emerge out of my precious baby's body. Something in her mannerisms was older. Something in her look, her knowledge, her language, her understanding, her grasp of abstract concepts, her realization that she could solve a problem on her own. The sudden moment where she chose to pause before crawling up the stairs to reach instead, for the iron handrail that she could suddenly grasp with little effort. To see her tiny little legs bravely plant themselves one step up and up until she was at the top looking down at me with a satisfied grin on her lips. To see her cradle her baby doll and plant kisses all over its face, just like I do on her own sweet face. To see her conduct her stuffed animals as though she hears the songs unfurl in her imagination. To hear her say to a kitty cat that clawed at her pant legs, "Moe, don't do that!" It's amazing, but somehow, my itty bitty girl is no longer itty bitty. Oh, she'll always be my baby. I understand that now, but somehow, she's now my little girl as well.

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