On Sunday I had a moment. It hit me suddenly and without warning. We were spending a nice Sunday out, the four of us with our good friends who are expecting their first baby in August. We went to Belmont Park in Mission Bay and naturally Olivia wanted to ride the merry-go-round. My friend held Mila and I went on with Pea. We chose the bunny and I strapped her in and stood next to her. The ride started and her smile grew. Bigger and bigger. I was standing so close I could smell the sun and sunblock in her yellow hair. I had my hand on her hips to steady her but she didn't even need it. I looked down to see two strong, long legs wrapped around the body of the bunny she was riding on. Her hands were gripping the gilded pole and she stood straight and confident. Through the round of her cheeks and baby face I saw her independence. Her personality. For the first time ever I glimpsed Olivia Simone, a person separate from me. An entire individual of her very own. My eyes filled with tears (very unlike me) and like a punch in my gut it came to me- My little girl is growing. And fast.
Before I know it she will start school. Before I can blink she will have a license and ask for a lock on her door. One morning I'll wake up tired because I stayed awake vigilant, waiting for her to come home after a night out. I cannot hold her back though I may want to. How can I deal with her hair one day smelling differently, or her elbows losing those innocent dimples? I'm so proud of my twenty month old girl, of her brains and her courage. I can only hope that in twenty years she might remember how happy she was on that merry-go-round. Of how much we meant, of how with each turn of the carousel she would wave to her daddy excitedly and then beam at me. Her smile so huge, expecting everything out of life.