When I really looked closely at that tiny, outstretched hand it amazed me. The curved little lines sketched on it were there, just like on mine. The form was so perfect, yet so minature. It was another moment like any others--Angelica was waiting for me to pour some soap on her hands-- but for some reason today that little hand became something mystical to me. I guess it's partly because you treasure the tiny parts of a newborn, and dream about them being formed in the womb during pregnancy. But at some point all that fuzziness starts to fade and you just get into a routine, which doesn't leave much time or thought for reflecting on your child's perfect little form anymore.
But today it did. I felt like someone was saying "Remember these tiny hands. Memorize their form. They won't be so small forever. They won't cling so tight for long".
Angelica and I have come out of the weaning battle relatively unscathed. I never dreamed that it would be one of the hardest things I'd have to do in the early years with my daughter. However, now we have transitioned into a new stage and I think I'm finally really feeling the passage of time because I had clung to the old stage for so long. I'm really proud that I was able to nurse her into toddlerhood, but I think that subconciously I fell back into treating her as a baby all of the time that I nursed her. So all of a sudden, I wake up a week or so after the nursing has ended...and I see her as who she really is, which is a small person with a tremendous capacity for learning and creativity and for making me laugh, amid other things. She doesn't need me as she once did, but she needs me even more in other ways now. She is growing and I am too, since I now understand that I am learning as much a I am teaching in this parenthood thing.
Seeing that little hand today in all of its glory reminded me of how far we've come on this journey. It remains outstretched, vulnerable and oh-so-small. The lines on it tell only the beginning of a beautiful life story yet to come. I am filled with awe again to have been "chosen" as one of the people to guide it, cherish it and hold onto it as we both grow.