06 March 2009

Eleven



Time, you thief.

To have held this baby in my arms, and then, in just the blink of an eye, to be looking at this girl--this young lady--to think that I once carried her within me.

How could you?

Know you nothing of ache within your chest that yearns to hold her tight, just one more time--to sleep just one more night with her snuggled up against you?

Have you not awoken one morning to find the last of her baby fat gone and wept all day?

Do you know the feeling of stumbling down a school hallway, unable to breathe or see, having just waved goodbye to your daughter on her first day of school?

What is it that you think you would sacrifice of yourself to keep her free from knowledge of the real world and the pain within it, if just for one more day?

Are not the lines upon my face and creaks within my bones enough for you?

Must you take her as well? Must you continue to take each day and give back to me one less moment of her childhood?

Have you no pity?

To give us these moments, these smiles, this pride, and so quietly ebb up on us, and before we know it, you've cleared out our most prized possessions with not so much as a warning, leaving us with rooms strewn with jeans and lip gloss and softball gloves; rooms that just yesterday were filled with cribs and baby blankets.

Can I not keep you out? If even for a day?

This is how it should be, I know.

This is what every parent would hope and pray for: a daughter, healthy and beautiful, growing into such an amazing being.

I know this, of course.

But it does nothing to ease the young woman within me, standing with a baby in her arms, trying to keep out the thief at the door.

Eleven.

Eleven.
Eleven.
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7 comments:

bgirl said...

oh jen. my heart aches with yours. i find myself nodding, knowing that time has taken up permanent residence in our home...stealing moments i want to cling to.
your writing beautifully captures what only mama's know.

happy bday Big A!!!

Loralee Choate said...

Time is such a wench, no?

It goes by so fast it breaks your heart.

She is LOVELY.

luckyzmom said...

Tears oozing out the corners of my eyes again as only your words can so easily evoke from me. I have such a baby in my heart also, except she is not eleven, but thirty seven with babies of her own. Thank you for the beautiful words.

flutter said...

she is so lovely, mama.

J and J Acres said...

I'm not a mother, but my youngest sister just turned 17 and I find myself going "How did that happen?"

someone somewhere said...

..and someday it will be you saying: "seventeen?"..."junior in high school?"..."off to college?"...

Amy Y said...

Happy Birthday to your Beautiful A!