Thursday, June 7, 2012

All Grown Up

I was casually observing a little boy at the pool this past weekend. He was soooo cute that I couldn't help but watch him. I usually avoid this activity but as I was waving back to his little tiny hands saying hello to me, and adoring his charming baby flirting... it dawned on me all of a sudden that Carly would have been about the same age.

This happens from time to time. Anyone who knows this heartache like I do, has something or someone in their path periodically, just like my toddling reminder today. What's so strange is that those sudden time-checks sneak up and knock the wind out of you for a heartbeat or two. I mean, where does the time go and why is Carly still a newborn baby in my mind? She would be over a year old already, and when I think of her, she is still my little baby, just like the first time I saw her.

I don't believe I'm bat you-know-what crazy for thinking this way, and I'm not running to a therapist for explanation. It makes perfect sense to me that the only visual I have of her in the flesh and blood, has taken up permanent residence to last a lifetime. Eventually, she will be a newborn college graduate and I'm ok with that. Baby Carly... always our baby.

I quickly ran through all the normal mental comparisons from watching today's littlest messenger. I paused somewhere along the process, and gave myself permission to spend some time creating sweet memories of events that never happened. First words, first crawl, first tooth, first time I might have wanted to be literally punched in the jaw and knocked out just to catch a few pristine and uninterrupted z's, and so on. I giggled a little to myself. Next, my thoughts turned to seriously wondering what she might look like today. My imagination failed me miserably on today's attempt, but I'll make another go at it again soon. Did I stop there, though? No. I took it a step further to imagine what she will look like when I meet her again after this life. All of a sudden, she wasn't a baby in my mind anymore. She is a beautiful young 20-something woman with soft, straight hair. She has eyes that express emotion so clearly, and in a way that words could never triumph. She is wise, and graceful, and someone you would naturally trust. Her hands are magic, and every living thing is calmed by her caress; like possessing the Midas Touch, but with peace in place of gold. Her sweet lips were permanently curled in a smile - I suppose this is because she never knew a frown. Anyways, my little girl grew up in a split second.

Despite the ominous undercurrent of the facts, these thoughts were a wonderful exercise that satisfied my soul and I was pleased. As I slowly drifted back into reality, I was contemplating which form I would want her to be when we meet again, as if I have the option to make that decision. Would I prefer to get to hold her like the baby I let go of in the first place? Would I like it more to see her as an adult, capable of intentional expressions and telling me the things I want to hear? And let me clear, "by things I want to hear," I mean anything she wants to say! Oh to hear her voice... I think I made my decision?!

In the end, I decided that I'm not truly decided at all. I'm guessing that once I get over being pissed that this life is over, I'll be happy either way. I'm actually looking forward to it similarly to how I used to look forward to a prize in a cereal box when I was a little girl. I'm not sure what to expect and I like suprises.

Good night, Baby Carly.

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