Talitha turned three last week. My baby is three years old. I am the mother of a three-year-old. Three years ago, I held her for the first time. I can’t quite get my head around any of this. It’s both exciting and a bit daunting.
So much change is happening, as always is with small children. Her reasoning powers are rapidly developing. I’m taken aback by her growing capacity for conflict resolution. Even the pictures she’s drawing and games she’s playing are suddenly more complex. I’m stunned by it. I’m drinking her in, this little girl, not a baby anymore.
In fact, really not a baby anymore. She’s walking much longer distances now and has fully taken on her big sister role, even trying to comfort Ophelia when she cries. She’s insisting on knowing what every word we come across, whether in a book or on a sign, is. She memorises songs faster than I do. She wants to do so many things herself.
And yet she is still little, needing cuddles, coming into our bed after a nightmare, in so many ways asking that we remember that she still needs us to let her grow up at her own pace rather than push her or attempt to hold her back.
New mama fears come to mind. I hope I’m making the right choices for her, nurturing her confidence, not messing it all up too badly. I hope I’m striking the balance between being present with her and encouraging her to play independently. I hope I’m managing to share something of God’s love with her and to show her how very much I love her too. I hope I’m saying “yes” and “no” when they’re right. I even hope I’m not worrying too much, that she’s not picking up on my sometimes anxiety.
For her birthday, I took her to the zoo. We met up with Purplemum and her Super Girl, which was great fun. Each of her birthdays has been a bittersweet experience for me. I’ve taken her on an outing each time and each time my heart has exploded looking at her with gratefulness to have this little life in mine and a little bit of sadness that it’s going by so quickly.