Still little.

“They’re not little anyone,” I say to Arnauld as I pause at the row of magnetic photos the girls have lined up in the playroom, right next to Arnauld’s makeshift office.

I wanted him to tell me that they were, that they were still sloppy toddlers and chubby cheeked babies-irrational as that would be. “No they’re not,” he said. “They’re all getting so tall.”

They’re getting tall but I still find signs of little.

Wren yaps my ear off on the ride to and from dance class. She tells me about school, their fundraiser, and the new girl who is so “kind.” She uses this word to describe her dance friends too, some old, some new. I’m proud that this is the word she chooses, this is what she sees in others. Then when we make a quick stop at Target, she lets me hold her hand, not just when we’re walking through the parking lot, but the whole time we’re in the store.

When we get home from the store, Adi is half asleep on the couch. “Let’s go up to bed, Ad,” I say. “I’ll carry you up.” As I lift her, her tall body adjusts and wraps around mine just like she did when she was a baby. Her head finds that perfect place in my shoulder and I could stand there and sway and rock her all night.

Rose, my rocking baby. I rocked her to sleep until she turned three. She loves to be cuddled. Even now, before I leave the house each morning, we go through five or six rounds of, “just one more hug…I love you so much.”

These are my babies. May I always be able to find a little of their little.

18 thoughts on “Still little.

  1. There is so much warmth and love in this slice. In our children we can always search for “those signs of little.’ I believe it will always be there, especially when you nurture it like you’re doing. Thank you for this reminder.

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  2. I relate to this piece so much! It’s both beautiful and heartbreaking watching them grow up, isn’t it? I love the pieces of “little” you captured here for each of them. It makes me wonder if my mom still sees some glimpses of “little” when she looks at me!

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  3. Just one more hug! I could feel your warmth and love in this post as you think about your babies growing to be not so little. As a mom and grandmother I understand those feelings. And yes they will always be your little ones in some way or another!

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  4. Aww this is a sweet slice. A friend’s mom once told me that it’s the most amazing thing that as children grow, they always fit together with you somehow for a cuddle and the part when you write about Adi adjusting her body like she did when she was a baby reminded me of that. I think of it with my own children too as they keep on growing!

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  5. Oh, man. This is heartfelt and real. I”m getting to the point where my youngest is feeling heavy, but can still carry him upstairs and let his head nestle into my shoulder. Thanks for this vivid reminder. 🙂

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  6. I love a lot of how you wrote this, but “a little of their little” is so perfect. That, fortunately will always be there. Maybe it gets littler or it gets covered by the outer layers, but it will be there. I also really like that Wren uses the word “kind.” There’s a lot there.

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  7. The image of Adi adjusting and wrapping herself into you and getting her head in that spot on your neck made me feel Megan’s hugs at that age! As others have said, you will always be able to find a little of their little because you are and always be their mom!

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  8. This reminds me in a way about your post yesterday. Your children, like Moose, may grow older, but the “little” still remains somewhere within them. Love how you show that in your anecdotes about each of your “babies.”

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  9. What a sweet, tender post. I’m not a mom yet but I love how you describe the feelings of wanting to hold on to the little. I feel it even with my nephews. I’m glad you can still get some of those moments even as they’re getting older.

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  10. Yes I echo others in saying this is sweet and heartwarming (and I have to say I think it happens for longer with girls than boys). One good thing when they do grow up is that you can share memories while looking at those photos and they will ask lots of questions about themselves and each other and they will remember some stuff, but there is plenty to remind them of from your memories too…and then you show grandchildren those photos, still the same delight!!

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