I thought I saw you today. But I know it wasn't really you. It was a little girl who reminded me so much of you as a toddler. She had blond wispy hair, big brown eyes and chubby little hands, grasping at the table and her food and her mama. She was dressed in an outfit much like how I would have dressed you at two. She had on a leopard print jumper with a white top underneath, shiny patent leather shoes and a big bow in her hair. She reminded me so much of you at two my heart constricted. My time with you has gone so fast. Now you stand eye to eye and toe to toe with me. You are no longer the toddler of my memories, you are a beautiful, intelligent young lady.
The little girl I saw today was out to lunch with her mama just like you would go out to lunch with me. We would sit and have "chats" about what you saw, what you wanted to eat and what tasted yummy. Now, you talk with me about what schools you want to attend, from middle school to high school and even talking about colleges already. Your conversations are so grown up and mature ~ the voice of the little girl is gone. It's been replaced by your ever growing, ever changing presence. You are growing up too fast and today I wanted to sit at lunch with you while you ate a toddler's lunch. I wanted to open a go-gurt for you and break your sandwich into little, bite-sized pieces. I wanted to hand you a cup of milk and wipe your chubby, little hands when you were finished with your lunch.
It's funny, I was at lunch with Nana when we saw the little girl who was so much like you and I have to think Nana still sees me as her little girl sometimes. All of the times she calls you Jenni makes me smile. I know she must still sees me as her little girl ~ through you. So, my darling Claire, when you are grown up and have children of your own I will still look at you and see my sweet little two year old baby girl.
But please stop growing up so fast.