If I could give a theme of Aria’s life over the past three months since DH deployed, it would be the early metamorphosis from baby to child.
It seems so foreign now to think of her supermanning on the basement floor. Or waving her arms about in the baby pool at daycare. One year, six months. At this age , those are full lifetimes of change.
It felt so sudden. All of the sudden she was a child. The playground became a real place to play, not just to visit.
I watched her take her first steps. I was taking a picture of her smiling for her dad. And then she just kept moving toward me.
But to be honest, steps never changed my perception of Aria. They didn’t make her more or less baby; she moves as quickly now as she did when she crawled.
What makes her feel like a child is her playfulness and independence.
Like when she hopped on my niece’s Barbie off roader and accidentally sent herself careening across the living room floor.
Or maybe even more, it is her expressiveness. There is this blossoming look of intelligence and joyfulness, mature in its expression, that heralds a new phase of her short existence.
At the play area, she doesn’t worry about how little she is. This girl, like me when I was small, loves to climb. Even when she tumbles, she gets right back up.
And then of course are all the things she does. Things I didn’t imagine her doing until her life began interesting with the years of my own I could actually remember.
I remember a couple of weeks ago when I looked down. Aria had taken the cap off a highlighter and was drawing on a piece of paper. I was stunned. I don’t know when I thought babies began to draw. Sometime far off.
So I made her a chalkboard at home for the fridge. Who is this kid? Who knew they were babies for such a short moment in time?
And then before you know it, they’re the ones leading the way. Walking and talking and making decisions.
Like a child.
Because that’s exactly what they are.