The stage filled with Lasts

Ladybug has been extra snugly lately. She randomly comes up to me and asks for a snuggle, or if I am sitting for whatever reason she is soon by my side contently. She'll be 7 before the end of this month. In fact she will be 7 in 20 days! How is that possible? I can't help comparing where we are with Ladybug against where we are with Button. With Button every little first is painstakingly written down. I engrave each snuggle, smile, arms reaching for me moment into my heart. Each day is filled with a million moments that are new and sweet. However, we are growing out of that stage with Ladybug; I find myself watching her and hoping to find a little bit of the little girl. I am in awe each morning when she looks a little more grown and closer to being just a girl. She has grown from baby to toddler to preschooler to little girl to big girl. But even calling her a big girl seems wrong. She's out growing things so quickly and I feel a little left behind.

At drop off each day I get a kiss as she rushes off. Then when she is just about to the playground, she slows down and pauses. She then turns around and runs back to the car for one more hug, kiss and "I love you." I wait and hold my breath for that moment each morning, because I am dreading the day that she makes it all the way there. The morning when she doesn't need the little extra mommy. I know that I will cry that day, the one when she doesn't look back and race to the car. I will be so proud of her and the hurdle she over came, and eventually will find comfort in the fact that she is growing. But on that morning drive home I know that I will cry. It is one more step to independence.
Don't get me wrong, I am excited for her Independence. I am loving the conversations we are having now as she experiences new things all on her own. I am proud of the girl Hubbins and I have raised so far. She's strong, confident, sweet and has an amazing imagination. I am excited for the adventures she will one day take. But even as I look forward to watching her grow and one day seeing the wonderful woman she will become, I am sad to say good bye to the little girl she once was. She is truly at the stage of finding herself and who she will be. I see parts of that person from time to time and I love that growing part of her. But I wish the little girl stage could last a little longer and that I could freeze these moments of in between. When she is on the cusp of a new stage of life but still holding on to the last little bits of this one. 

So I will always let her snuggle in and I will continue to etch each moment on my heart. One day she wont want the extra snuggles or kissy face wars. She will be content to run to the school without so much as a look back and tuck ins wont be so important to her. And that one day is coming soon. I can feel it because each stage only lasts so long and each first is soon followed by a last time. So celebrate each one because they end all too soon.


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