As the thunder roared and shook our house Sunday night, my husband went to check on our little Eve, who is two months shy of turning two years old.
She was, as he suspected, frightened by the storm. He lovingly brought her to our bed, snuggled with her for a bit, and then left her to fall asleep peacefully.
As we went upstairs later to get ready for bed ourselves, I asked soon Jad if he wanted to put her back in her bed. He was sitting next to her on the bed just staring at her, and said that he just wanted to enjoy her for a while longer because these moments wouldn’t last forever.
I don’t know why, but his comments hit me like a ton of bricks. I got emotional to the point that I started weeping.
Eve is my fourth, and most likely last, child. She is my only daughter, and the love I have for her is indescribable.
All of my babies have been like therapy for me – their softness, their innocence, their playfulness, their hilarious idiosyncrasies – everything about them brings me to life.
I guess it hit me in that moment that all the things I love about having babies would someday be going away, never to be replaced by the appearance of another little one.
I cried and cried for a while. I couldn’t explain it, but I did ask Jad, “What if when she grows up, she doesn’t remember? What if she doesn’t love me the way she does now? What if we don’t have the bond we do now? What if she never realizes all that I have done for her and how much I love her?”
At that moment, I caught a glimpse of what parents of adult children may go through sometimes, and I appreciated my parents even more. They loved me so much that they raised me from infancy to adulthood. There is very little love that comes close to the love of parents for their children.
Another thought came to me the next day – that even though I cherish each moment with my squishy, perfect, baby girl, if she stayed young forever I would miss out on so much. I would never get to have a heart-to-heart conversation with her, or comfort her when she had a bad day, or give her advice about a hard situation. I would never be able to teach her how to read, how to cook, or how to flirt with boys. I would never be able to help her make and grow her testimony of Jesus Christ. I would never be able to see her marry her sweetheart or have a baby of her own. I would never be able to truly have a best friend in her, which is what I want more than anything.
I am still struggling with the idea of her growing up. She brings a joy to our family I could never describe. She is absolutely perfect for me, and for our family, from her hair, to her smile, to her love of cleaning,to her interesting food choices, to her sassiness. We can’t imagine life without her.
A part of me really wishes she could stay little forever, and then another part of me is excited for the future. As I sit here typing with a stray tear rolling down my cheek, I am mostly sad about the idea, but I know that it will be okay. God will fulfill that part of me in other ways, and I will be able to help raise my beloved daughter into the young woman she has the potential to become.
My dearest Eve, if you ever read this, just know that you are one of my greatest gifts and joys. I look forward to our years together.