After a day spent with the newly three-year-old Bean. So awesome, and also terrifying: the death-defying mood swings coupled with her effervescent smile and winsome laugh. One moment she was stamping her foot and telling me that the world was going to END unless I gave her a bowl of Rice Krispies right now, right this minute. And then the next moment she was hugging my leg, arms pulled tight around my knee, telling me "I love you, mommy. I love you so much."
She went to bed last night twirling around her bedroom. She gave me a kiss and softly patted my back. When we sat down to read Goodnight Moon for the 731st time, Alice asked to read something else. So we read Kitten's First Full Moon and I tried not to feel sad that our bedtime routine had changed just like that.
I know that nothing lasts forever. A small growing-up girl intensifies this truth because she changes from one minute to the next.
Because I can't stop time, because I can't cast her in crystal, because I can't make her stay so little, I want to remember:
- Listening to her sing. She sings when she's lying in bed. She sings when she's eating breakfast. She sings in the car. She sings when she's standing in the middle of the living room.
- Alice streaking room to room before her bath.
- Her tiny shoes tossed at the foot of the stairs.
- The way she holds her buddies and pats their backs, whispering, "It's okay. I've got ya. I've got ya."
- To Alice, it's called a burt, not burp. Who burted? ALICE BURTED!
- She knows episodes of Sesame Street by name.
- The game Chip and Alice play with her little pink Piggy, called Where's Piggy. Chip will put Piggy on top of his head and ask Alice if she knows where Piggy is. She thinks it's hilarious.
- Watching her climb up on top of the dining room stools, on top of the table, on top of the counters. She is fearless.
- She and Chip shout LURF-A-DOO when he pulls her into his arms, swinging her high overhead.
...and this is where the list could go on, and it does. It does go on, in everything I write about her. I write it down to capture it, to keep it here, to make sure I have some tiny bit of that little girl pressed between the pages of my memory. For always.