When did you go from baby to toddler? Less than two years ago you were growing inside of me and now you are running circles around my feet. When was the precise moment you stopped being a baby?
Was it your first gurgle, that turned into a smile, that transformed into a contagious and priceless giggle?
Was it when you first reached out your arms to me, outstretched and begging to be held?
Was it when you gave me your first intentional kiss, dutifully waving goodbye as I reluctantly left for work?
Was it when I slowly folded up your teeny onesies carefully into a box, marveling how they were barely worn?
Was it at our first swim class, when you put your head underwater yet I was the one ironically holding my breath?
Was it when you uttered your first “no”, and shook your head, determined and liberated?
Was it when you quietly opened your first book by yourself, gazing at pictures and turning pages, thinking no one else was watching?
Was it when you communicated to the world for the first time earnestly signing YOU. MUST. HAVE. MILK?
Was it when I first heard you say “Mommy!” with urgency and need?
Was it the twinkle of recognition in your eyes, when you suddenly understood the words being spoken around you?
Was it when you felt the beat, like REALLY felt the beat, and starting moving to the music?
Was it when you said “poo-poo” and lo and behold, there it was in your diaper?
Was it the first we toasted “cheers!” with your sippy cup and shared our secret smile?
Was it the time we toured our very first preschool and I imagined you drawing at the tables?
Was it the first time you scraped your knee, and together with mutual curiosity we applied your very first band-aid?
Was it the first time you held a pen in your hand and proudly and furiously scribbled your first piece of art?
Was it when you picked up everything that resembled a phone, held it to your ear and said “HEYO?”
Was it with your first pair of shoes while we both watched with awe as you cautiously stepped on to the playground?
Was it when you stopped wanting to be held before bed, and instead sat beside me holding my hand as we rocked back and forth, both in heaven under the “stars” in your bedroom sky?
You may not be a baby anymore but you, my sweet little girl, will always be my baby.