My girl, Maryn Elana, "May May" to those closest to her.
My feisty sweet one, alternating bossy demands and loving cuddles. She is mostly me, from her grouchiness in the morning, to her need for time for herself with no conversation and no eyes on her. She surprises me, though, in how she can move from shyness to giggles and openness, and how she has become a leader in her class this year when last year's class only brought tears of separation anxiety. She is so bright, from her smile to the way she picks up new information so quickly. She is so sparkly, from her princess shoes to the way she picks up on our moods and tries to make us laugh. She is so funny and creative and clever. After I took this picture of her, she said she was mommy at work. I asked her what I do at work and she said, "Eat candy and play on the computer!"
She is growing so fast, literally, that she can't keep up with herself. She trips and falls, bumps into things off-kilter, and requires a new wardrobe every couple of weeks. She realizes the shift as well, and can go from reading a new word independently to baby-talk and wanting me to hold her like a baby within the span of minutes. We two are caught in the transition between our natal bond and the independence that is forging. There is reaching out and letting go, and then a run back into my arms. It is a lovely and heartbreaking dance, and I know we're only starting the first steps. She dreams of going off on the school bus with her big brother, and it catches my breath to realize that it's only a year and some months away. We worry about her journey less than his, for her fierce attitude and confidence affords her some protection. She has always been tied to me, clinging on in the beginning even as I fought through the haze of depression and a difficult transition as a mother of two. She sought my heart and found it, and I discovered it was softened, opened, and enlarged. She has taught me to laugh more and to take the time to stop and enjoy the embrace of long arms and legs outgrowing my lap. I will never outgrow the joy she brings me.