Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reflections on Little Girls Growing Up

This afternoon, Gary was holding Sydney in his lap. She was feeling somewhat puny--she had checked out of school with a fever--and he was brushing her hair a little bit, holding her hand, generally trying to make her feel better.
What made it even sweeter was that it was Sydney's birthday and Gary was trying to cheer her up with tales of birthday fun and importance. "I can't believe you're now 6-years-old," he said. "You're getting to be a big girl."
Then he looked up at me with some slightly tearing-up eyes. "They're just getting big, aren't they?"
Today was Sydney's birthday...and yesterday was McKenna's 18th birthday.
"It seems like just yesterday that I was pulling her around in that little laundry basket," he reminisced about McKenna. She must have been three-years-old, and she just loved it when she got that exciting ride in the basket. "I guess that's why I have a hard time sometime. I forget that she's not that little girl any more. She really is growing up and becoming an adult."
And therein lies the rub...the two-sides of seeing your little ones grow up.
You're so proud to see them grow and blossom, but you're sad to see the days of holding hands and sharing secrets and being silly fade a little bit.
It's hard for Dads to deal with sometimes...and it's hard for Moms too.
So, on this day today, I am giving tribute to my two wonderfully beautiful, and sweet, and stubborn, and smart, and spiritual, and talented, and independent girls.
Still little Sydney. Six-years-old.
And now "all grown-up" McKenna. Eighteen-years-old.
I can still see McKenna as she was in those first two pictures at the top of my post. So sweet, and blonde, and precocious. And so attached to me.

And I oh-so-appreciate the young lady she is becoming...

My memories of Sydney as a little-bitty one are a lot fresher in my mind (in that picture of me and McKenna at the top, I was just a little thing myself. Only 23, and still trying to figure out what motherhood was all about; when I had Sydney, I was approaching the 40-side-of-life).
She was and is just so precious to me...

We have celebrated--and will continue to celebrate for several more days--these birthdays in fun ways that honor how special McKenna and Sydney are.
The other morning, as I made a birthday breakfast for McKenna, Gary wished her a "happy birthday" and then wished me one too. "It's really more your day than anyone's," he told me.
And I appreciated that comment.
Because, while I absolutely think that the day a new person arrived on this planet is worth a lot of cake and presents and joy and excitement (I'm ALL ABOUT the birthdays; and I absolutely want it to be THEIR day), it was still nice to be acknowledged a little bit.
Because the birthday of your child is a day to reminisce and get a little sentimental.
To celebrate. To remember.
To marvel at how the years go by.
And to be thankful for each and every one of them.

(Blogger's lack of spacing between paragraphs is bugging the stew out of me. Please forgive this post for having the paragraphs crammed up against each other. I'm gonna see what I can do to fix it asap!)


Daisy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your two girls. What a sweet tribute to each of them. Proud Mama and you should be.

Gin said...

Just beautiful, Cheryl. I love it, and happy birthday to those girls who ar growing up in front of our eys.

camport said...

What a great, great post. Thanks for the insight. I'm trying hard to cherish everyday, knowing one day I'll wake up and they'll be packing for college. :/

Cheryl Wray said...

Daisy--I am indeed proud of them. They are sweet girls and I am blessed!

Gin--Thanks, and they really are aren't they?

Camport--It will be here before you realize it! :-)

Stephenie said...

I always love your posts Otra Mommy :) This one made me tear up! I love all your girls. They're my sisters through and through. My Mom tells me every day that she cannot believe how much I change everyday she sees me. She also cannot believe I will be twenty in June. Of course, neither can I!

Travis Erwin said...

Three cheers for you and your family!

Cheryl Wray said...

Steph--So sweet!!!! And, yes, I know exactly what your Mom is feeling. Time flies way too fast.