Small Life, Slow Life: 4/100 {The days are long, the years are short.}

I repeated that to myself like a mantra when V was little and cried all the time.

The days are long, the years are short.

And sure enough, that’s still true. I mentioned yesterday that she’s been feverish and super needy. Today was more of the same.

There is nothing longer than a full day with a sick kid. I don’t care what anyone tells you.

Climbing on me one minute, pushing my hand away and saying no the next. Crying out “Mommy!” the second I left her sight. And naturally, no nap.

After being in the house all day, I asked if she’d like to go for a walk and to my surprise, she agreed.

When we walk, we loop around a giant block where we live. Our walk takes us past beds of rocks, big pine trees, flowers, and we even spend some of it across the street from the park. There’s always something interesting to see and new people we meet.

It amazes me how much she remembers from walks we took as long as six months ago. (We were doing family walks every day for a spell, but it’s been much too hot lately.) She checks to see if the sprinklers are on (such a happy occurrence if they are). She points out the same flowerbeds and comments on the color of the flowers. These two random trees (among literally a hundred trees that we pass) are her favorites and she asks if she can see the “nuts” on them (little seed pods).

She always knows when this flower bed is coming up, and will say, “See pink flowers, see purple flowers.” When the gardeners plant new flowers, she’ll talk about that for a long time.

She fell apart about 3/4 into the walk and I knew I’d be carrying her most of the way home. It was hot. I was tired. She was whiny (again).

With a sigh, I picked her up and she swung her legs around my waist and nestled right into my chest. She was quiet and just kept her head against me. In that moment, I really understood how unwell she was feeling. Usually when I carry her, she’s pointing at things and craning her neck around to see something going on, wiggling and scurrying down to go check anything exciting out. But today, I felt her melt into me, like if I could have absorbed her into my own body, she would have let me.

I thought, She probably won’t continue to fully surrender in my arms like this much longer. There are only a handful of times left that she’ll truly be a baby.

I felt sadness, then.

But I also found myself treasuring that moment, walking with her like that. Even though, so hot. Even though, so heavy. Even though, all the whining all day. The days left of that are so short. I feel myself pre-mourning the days I will no longer be needed.

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