Deladis was doing exercises yesterday to help her grow.  They consisted of sprints, water bucket lifting, lunges off the porch, and lots of crossed legged butterflies.  She’s excited about growing up, and I think has begun to realize that it is happening to her.  She is comparing her growth nearly everyday by the marks we make in the kitchen door facing, asking, “How big am I now?”

She has growing pains some nights in her legs like I did at her age.  She wants to learn “big” things.  Deladis is amazed at seeing kids her size doing things on their own – like making treats, and riding bikes.  She loves spending the night with her grandparents, away from mommy and daddy.  It is moving kind of quickly for us now.

Backstage before her recital.

I talk to my niece, Jade, who will be 17 in November (much to the unsettledness of myself and her mother), and feel an ease that I felt with Deladis as a newborn.  We talk about relationships, friends, books, and music – her trip to Europe at the end of the month.  I’ve never been passed the Mississippi River (or even seen it really), north of Ohio, or south of Alabama, aside from flying to Anchorage, Alaska for a ball tournament when I was a freshman.  The last time I saw the ocean I was ten.  She is bright, truthful, and confident.  I think about Deladis at that age, and I find myself looking forward to it – us being women together.  As much as I lament her growing up, I’m finding joy in being a part of it.  It wasn’t too long ago I held her in my arms in the dead of night wondering how I was ever going to make it through the next day without some sleep, and at the same time rejoicing that I was able to feed her from my breast, holding her sweet soul in my arms.

One day I will be witness to her soul’s impact on this world – on other souls.  One day holding her will be a second’s worth of a hug.  But, she will still be a part of me, and I will still be able to watch.  Together we will be women.  And I will enjoy her in a new way.  My sweet girl – the star of her own show.

Her Papaw Hansel bought her flowers.

Ivy is no longer nursing (almost a week now).  There are no real plans for more babies in my future.  It is most certainly a time of letting go for me – of expectations I had for my life, my birth stories, my parenting skills, and my family.  It’s time.

For more reading on growing up, visit The Breeder Files.

We have diddles - 9 in all.

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