Or about four inches. That is how you measure a year.
Last June Emily graduated from her preschool wearing a dress with purple flowers. She had a sweet little smile and her bangs needed a trim. I was a tiny bit pregnant and wearing pigtails.
This morning that sweet faced little girl graduated from Kindergarten in the same dress. It was shorter this year. She continues to grow up. Straight up. Her face is sharper. She is growing out her bangs and is typically wearing no fewer than two hair accessories. I curled her hair this morning. Two hours later I arrived at school and she had another hairdo altogether.
She proudly held her little sister during a good portion of the graduation ceremony. The back of her neck makes me tear up. There is something beautiful about the back of a woman’s neck. Hers is no exception. In that six (almost seven!) year old neck I can see the young woman she will become. Inches below her neck is the freckle she had when she was born.
Somewhere between that freckle and that young woman’s neck will be tears and heart break and laughter and joy too numerous too imagine. She will not always be in a white dress with purple flowers, but she will always be my baby, my Emily June.
There are no words to describe this last year. A fearless little girl started kindergarten in a brand, new school. Weeks later she started again at yet another new school, beginning a new chapter in a new home.
Your baby face has faded, in its place a crooked smile complete with wiggly teeth. You still let me call you “tiny heiney” but you were appalled when I mooned you the other day in the kitchen. You have a new found sense of propriety.
You still sleep with pinky blanket, but the night your sister was born you did not. I held it in my hands, wiped the tears from my face, the sweat from my forehead with it. It was a reminder that I had all the strength I needed to make you a big sister.
And what a big sister you have become. Your patience is out measured only by your kindness. She watches you endlessly. Your “baby sway” would lead one to believe that you were a teeny tiny grandmother. I could go on and on, sweet girl, but the tears streaming down my face have soaked your sister as she sleeps in my lap.
When you turned one I told you you were my big, bright star. And little lady, you do not disappoint. Every time you grow a little bit older I tell you to knock it off. But underneath the sentimentality of motherhood, I secretly rejoice. One day we will share a glass of wine and reminisce about growing up. Because I am growing right along with you. I love you, kiddo. More than you may ever know.
Aww, this is just lovely.
Now I’m going to have to creep into y children’s room to watch them sleep and smell them. ;)
Awww, the sneak attack sleeping sniffs. That’s the jam right there.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I liked this one of yours, too. Ellie http://www.themuseisworking.com
Shit, Kelly. Crying at work. And I work 22 miles from Sammie’s school, where she is at the second to last day of Kindergarten and I too took a picture on the first day of school. (Two braids) and on Kinder graduation day (two braids, but longer.) And Max will be singing this song at his “graduation” in a few weeks.
I keep telling them to stop growing up and Sammie shouts “NEVER!” *sigh*.
I read this yesterday and ended up holding my phone and weeping!! I love how in love with your little family you are!!
Did you cradle your phone like a baby? Because for some reason that is what I imagined and I’m cracking up. ;)
love it kelly ;)
STOP MAKING ME CRY. I’m pregnant, and I tear up easily. And I’m going to have two girls that will grow up without my consent.
Love this post.
My apologies. I can be a real asshole like that. ;)
This is one seriously beautiful post, KA. And I am a wreck after reading it. Your girls are lucky to have you as a mama.
I love this post but I think that the title is what drew me in…totally started singing it as I read it, so that you for the laugh and the tear!
UGH! Damn you and your tear-jerker post after i’ve had a cocktail! The song. The dress. I’m a mess.