Until this afternoon I hadn't really paused on the thought, but I sat with her in my arms on the kitchen floor, and I swear I felt my chest let-down, and I was transported to comfort-nursing her- ever so often we landed on the kitchen floor. Crouched, pretzel-legged, in a pile, whatever the situation required. And I could recall that so clearly, I can see it with my heart like a film. The sleepy fluttering eyes, where she'd touch her sticky hand to the top of her blonde wisps or grasp my finger or the edge of my shirt. Cold nose and wet cheek pressed against my breast. I'd swoop and cradle and make everything better.
Now, I pat her bum and there's no diaper and the struggle to potty train is barely even a flicker of a memory and that's insane because that was not easy. When did we get to here? And today she packed a carrot and an apple in her own backpack for preschool. And I still swoop and I still cradle, but my shirt stays in place, and we have real conversations. And I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that we have arrived at this very day, all that I put in to get to this moment, and what is coming back to me. Arms open and ready.