We used to sit on the floor with a stack of colourful board books - I didn't know if you understood a thing, but I'd hold you and read every word. I'd point out each animal, each sun and each star. You'd sit there and gaze at each page with your beautiful grey eyes.
Now, the books at home have become tired. You've flipped through each of them at least a hundred times or more. Hence, our monthly trips to the library. We walk in and you take off. You find books about penguins and hockey and castles (your favourite things right now) announcing each as you go ... "PENGA!" "HOCKA!" "CASIO!" I watch you move from shelf to shelf and think, who is this little person walking confidently on her own two feet, choosing and pulling books out with her tiny little hands?
I know they say time flies. I've said it too. Except, when I think back it doesn't really feel like it flew. To me flying insinuates a steady and flowing motion that takes you from one place to another at a somewhat consistent speed. And to me, that is not what time has done since you were born.
It started off crawling slower than the slowest of sloth-like land mammals. There is not one bird or plane that could have gained enough power to take off into the air at that pace. Back then I begged it to speed ... to hurry up and get going so that I could finally sleep again, finally feel normal again, finally find confidence again. Anything to get me to a better place.
Then you started to smile. Quick and small side smiles at first ... easy to miss. Your eyes began to find me. Across the room from each other we'd lock eyes and finally, I knew you knew who I was. Little tiny moments like this, little connections, where, just for a second I forgot about the speed at which we were moving.
And then you didn't just side smile, you full out, cheek to cheek, squinty-eye smiled. You made noise, babbled, giggled and laughed. You waved, you clapped. You rolled over, you sat up and stayed there. You scooted and then full on crawled. You pulled yourself up onto tables and shelves. You toddled, you walked, and then you tried to run. You said "dada", and then later on, you said "mama".
And now here we are. I feel like time, it didn't just fly - it flashed. Like a blink. That bird and that plane? Well, they would've burned up at the pace. It's like we were back there and now we are here and I cannot figure out what we did to get to this place. Suddenly, INSTANTLY you are not a baby anymore.
And not just that - I am also not who I used to be when this flight was first boarding. I no longer wish for time to speed. I now wish for exactly the opposite. I want to freeze you where you are now. Running around, asking me to sing to you, dancing like a penguin, picking flowers, and stopping to wrap your arms around my shoulders asking me to "cuddle". Slow down time. Just, stop.