I was cutting the grass yesterday evening as twilight was descending and the air was beginning to cool (I use this term loosely) without the direct heat from the sunlight. As I plodded along, I looked up and saw Trevor walking through the yard with a pair of long-handled pruning shears on his shoulder. What made this image stick was not my husband striding across the yard (although it was enough to make me a little weak in the knees!) It was the sight of Gracie trailing along behind him taking 3 steps for every one of his, her small form struggling to keep up. When they made it to the tree Trevor was intending to prune, I saw their heads bent down together as Trevor pointed and explained what he was doing.
It was one of those moments that is permanently etched in my memory. As I watched her traipse along, following her daddy, I was reminded once again of how quickly time flies. It won't be too long before she is embarrassed to even be seen with him, much less follow him around. She will prefer the company of her friends, and then her boyfriend in years to come. She will throw off the remnants of childhood and grow lean and tall; she will break our hearts a thousand times over with things that she says and does, but we will love her more each day.
She will leave us for the adventures awaiting her at college and then later return home with the man that we will embrace and call our son. She will marry him and make a home of her own, and one day we will get the news that she is having babies of her own. They will be sturdy and strong and they will follow their daddy around the backyard, struggling to keep up.
But for now, she is three and she is ours to hold close. She still wraps her arms and legs around me when she hugs. She still wants to say her prayers and sing "Bluebonnets" every night with me before she falls asleep. She still thinks that Trevor and I are the sun and the moon and her little life revolves around us. She still climbs into my lap and speaks to me in that little, whispery Grace voice "I love you, Mommy".
She still needs me and I need her too. She reminds me that time is precious and fleeting and that I need to live each moment as though it were my last. I thank God for my babies and for all the lessons that they teach me every day.