My little baby isn’t such a baby any more, and I have to admit, it makes me a little sad. She’s 11, and heading towards the teenage years way too fast for me.
Ever since the day she was born, I’ve told Bell, at least once every day “I love you a hundred”. I don’t know why I started saying it, or where it came from. It just felt like something that should be said, and always has. Over the years she has asked me what it means exactly, and I’d say it’s my way of saying that I love her a whole lot.
When she was a baby, we went through the usual sleeping dramas, and I would dream of the day when she would go to sleep easily and not wake until morning. That time came pretty quickly and she has been loving her sleep for quite a few years now, and has always loved sleeping in her own bed.
If she was sick, I would have her in my bed, mainly for my own peace of mind. And because John has always worked nightshift, there was plenty of room for her. On those nights that she was in my bed, I loved holding her little hand as she fell asleep. It was so nice to have my little girl close, and ready for a cuddle.
These days Bell’s just about too old to hold my hand in public any more, and I must say, I miss it. Every now and then I’ll reach for her hand when we cross a road, and she gives it, until she remembers she’s a big kid now. Yesterday morning, John started work at 3.00am, and I was just dozing off back to sleep after he left, when Bell came into my bedroom. She’d had a bad dream and was still half asleep. I asked if she would like to sleep in my bed, and she was in like a flash! As she was dozing off, she reached out and held my hand. I was transported back to when she was a little one, needing her mum close. It made me so happy to have that soft little hand in mine, and I realized she is still just a little girl, who needs her mum. I drifted off to sleep with a full heart.
We still do lots of stuff together, just Bell and I, and I really cherish those times. I know she’ll need me less and less as the years pass, but also know that at times when she does need me, I’ll be right there.
You never think there will be a time when they’re not your baby any more, and kind of take it for granted. I’m hoping that we’ll always have a close bond, even if we’re not always holding hands.