because i saw your tiny, wet footprints fade away today.

your tiny footprints ran across the newly mopped floor and your giggles shattered my anger and frustration owed to yet another meal-time mess to clean. and those little, delicate Sophie footprints evaporated so quickly. i was done--the floor was clean--and you were on to the next discovery; building the next creation your mind could think up. but your footprints are gone. and here i sit with tears leaving their moist imprint upon my cheeks because i know that those precious footprints won't stay little.

already at 21 months i want time to stop. i'm angry at the speed of this time and my relationship with it--oh, i can't wait until she can do this [insert independent action here]. oh but i don't want her to grow up when she will do that [insert action of an older child that's not so desirable here]. for now in this part of our lives you love being with me. and not just love like "i love these new shoes," but a "i've got to have you" kind of love. you reach for me with every ounce of your being and your body shakes a bit with excitement when you know i'm about to swoop down and pick you up in my arms. when i hold you, your legs curl around my waist and with that your toes scrunch up to tighten that hold.

and my kisses make your boo-boos disappear.

in this space of time your sweetly slurred "i love you" reaches into my soul and awakens every fiber of mother i have to offer to you. this tear splotched face is my reminder, here, to be more gentle in my words toward you. a reminder that i'm striving to mother you well. as well as any flawed human being can. and when i'm cleaning up another spaghetti spill, i will tell you, gently, "i love you sophia."

because i saw your tiny, wet footprints fade away today.