This picture is currently sitting against the wall facing Maggie's bedroom door. (Yes, in the other pile of "gallery wall" pictures that STILL have yet to be hung)
It's one of my favorite pictures of Maggie as a baby, and as I left her room the other night I was struck by the reality of the fact that my potty-trained, speaking-in-paragraphs, ponytail-wearing, way-too-big-for-a-crib little girl is no longer a baby.
Even last night she and Gary were playing on the floor and he said something about Baby Mags and she said, "Dad, I'm not a baby. I'm a little girl." [Silent parent-glance exchange.] She's right. She totally is.
Even though this is something that I know has been happening for awhile, the past couple of weeks we both feel like she has changed a lot. Her looks are changing (she still has some baby cheeks, but I know those will go soon...), her conversation skills are evolving, her independence - both in spirit and ability - is soaring, and her understanding of herself and the world around here is exploding.
Every day is FULL of questions. Some more frustrating and/or nonsensical than others, but others as genuine, sweet and ignorant as can be. Lately she's been having a hard time falling asleep at night. Last night after I went into her room for the second or third time I said, "Maggie, you have to be quiet! What do you NEED?" Totally calm without a whimper in her voice she looked up at me and said, "I need YOU." [Reluctant heart melt] "OK, one more song." "Two more songs." "Fine. Two more songs." "Actually, ten more songs." "No, two."
It's a little strange for me the past week or so to realize that we're saying goodbye to Baby Mags. I have SUCH fond memories of her as a baby. It marked a new stage of life for me on so many levels. Her first year is probably one of my favorite years of MY life to date, so I think I will always naturally remember her baby stage as one of my favorites.
Yet, I embrace her entering into this new stage, too...knowing that her personality, companionship, intelligence, independence and faith will only increase, and she will continue to add to our lives and God's kingdom in ways we can only imagine.
After New Year's Eve Maggie was introduced to sparkling cider, which she calls "spicy juice," and insists on only drinking it out of a teacup and with another person. As she lifts her cup in the air and indicates that you must do the same she clinks the glasses and says, "Cheers!" So here's to you, Little Mags! Bring on the next stage!