I got up early this morning, hoping to get a few chores done while Eric and Cordelia slept on. I climbed downstairs. I got some laundry going and let Bumblebee outside. Then, just a few minutes later, I heard the familiar sounds of the house waking. Shortly Cordelia came down the stairs, dressed as a ballerina. She had on a pink leotard decorated with the thin outline of tiny silver ballet slippers and a sheer empire waisted skirt---a thrift store find. A pink hand-me-down sweater hung from her shoulders to keep out the morning chill. She also wore tights that were pilled from play and the general wear that is bestowed upon most clothes that toddlers wear. On her feet were too big ballet shoes. Her unbrushed hair and still sleepy eyes did not match the enthusiasm in her voice as she declared, "Look at me momma! I'm a ballerina!"
I watched my girl show off some "dance" moves and then she led me up to the kitchen saying, "Here, take my hand." Eric readied himself for work as Cordelia and I made breakfast together. She stood on the step ladder that I had pulled up to the counter and said things like, "Here, let me help you darling."
We settled in for breakfast, joined by a freshly showered Eric. Looking out the window we noticed a fog settling in, even though the day is sunny. "Hey, what's happening?" she wondered aloud. Eric and I explained it to her and she has since been saying, "It's very mysterious outside."
Oh my how can I take these moments that make up this very precious time in our lives and remember them forever? How can I remember the feel of those little arms wrapped around my neck. The tangled mess of curls that are pasted to her cheeks which are perpetually covered in some sort of sticky crust, in spite of constant cleaning--how do I remember?
Motherhood is something that you sign up for to last the rest of your life. I knew that going in. I knew there would be good days and bad days. I knew that the early years would slip away all too quickly...and I retained that and all of the other anecdotal tidbits that had been strewn across my path by other parents, but nobody warned me how each day would be so difficult to let go of while I was simultaneously eager for the next day to arrive. Strange how each new day begins with its own joy and anticipation as well as a tiny lamentation for the days that have already passed.