She steals my heart with her hands covered in my gloves. They move skillfully, even though the too-large fingers drip from her.
She falls towards me, laughing, and her eyes laugh, too. They give away her joy. There is never enough time to take in this smile, and the way that it radiates first from the corners of her eyes, and then down to her upturned lips.
She moves around the living room in her dress-up gown, alternating between gracefulness and a little awkwardness at the length of this too-big dress. I show her how to lift up the front with her fingertips as she goes up steps, and she gifts me with that smile again; grinning right into my eyes with her own.
There is never enough time to show her things, and for me to take in all that she knows.
We play pretend every single day, and I’m consistently in full-on awe of her inventive thought process; of how she makes up ideas, and then recreates them outwardly through play. Often, she’s doing this while I’m doing some grown-up chore around the house, and I can’t help feeling that I’m missing out on these keepsake minutes, replacing them with clean dishes or folded laundry, but that’s life.
I take in the way that her hair falls more down her shoulders than last week. It’s growing quickly, like she is. There is never enough time to look at that one curl that moves in front of her twinkling eyes, and that I unfortunately have to pin back for school so it doesn’t get in her way while she learns.
There is never enough time for her, and she knows this. She has a baby sister, and I feel I miss so much of her growing up, too.
I’m paying close attention to when her attempt to say a word two days ago turned into an already perfect sound today, and to how her legs move at blurred speed when she chases her big sister—but I have to think hard to come up with the month when it officially became a full-tilt run.
There is never enough time to appreciate them, but I try to make room each day.
I listen to the sound of their voices, and I mentally file them away in a silent prayer that I’ll be able to retrieve them once again when I’m older, and these sparkling, little girl songs and sentences are many years ago.
I touch the curl that’s moved in front of her eyes again, and I ask her if she wants a barrette. She tells me no, and smiles at me as she turns to go after her baby sister. These days with them move as fast as they do, even if it occasionally feels like there’s a 10-hour span in between 4 o’clock and when their dad gets home from work.
There is never enough time, but I’m thankful for what we have.