I often think about you throughout the day. Â I think about a lot of little things, like the look of completed bliss on your face as we hug or snuggle; the way you sit at the table just happy as a clam as you work on whatever project you have going on; how you are always so thrilled to show me absolutely everything; the way you love surprises and how much you hate a ruined surprise… so much so that you will want everyone to pretend that it’s still a surprise; the sweet little things you say; even how grumpy you are when you wake up in the morning and I laugh because I think it’s so funny, but it just makes you more grumpy; how talented and accomplished you are at so many things; the way you love so well and think the best of absolutely everyone and everything… essentially, I have so much to think on so often, and I do. Â And it makes my heart happy. Â Just the thought of you makes me so very happy. Â It causes me to wish I could keep you forever.
Last week when we were out, you so wanted me to pick you up and hold you. Â But I couldn’t because I was carrying something and wouldn’t have been able to hold the both of you. Â Instead, I told you that you are a big, strong, nine-year-old girl and that as much as I would love to hold and carry you, you are just too big at this point. Â You kept asking me though, completely exasperated that I would refuse something so wonderful… sure that if you asked a few more times, that I would concede and we would both be filled with joy about it. Â But I didn’t, and quiet tears started to slide down your cheeks. Â Not in a manipulative way though, because you were actually embarrassed and so sad about it. Â I asked about the tears and you said, “I dislike getting older. Â The older I get, the less you are able to do all the things I love most.” Â Ugh, it pulled on my heart strings because I feel it too. Â You were mourning the loss of something you loved much, and Â you said, “I wish I could stay little , so that you could keep me forever.” Â Me too, darling.
Every stage of your life I have loved the best and wished in my heart that it could be kept frozen in time… just so I could enjoy that exact you as long as I wanted. Â But magically you become older, bigger, wiser, different and I love you even more. Â This precise time in your life though, I really think this is my most favorite. Â You have such solid ideas with such a determined and inquisitive nature, yet you still depend so much on me and you still want my help and attention always. Â It feels like a delicate balance of growing up, yet still wanting and loving me as much as a young child loves their mama. Â Dependent, yet capable. Â Still oblivious to the hurts of the world, tucked sweetly and safely in our little nest. Â Innocent and untarnished in any way; a big girl, yet a little girl at heart. Â I try to treasure this every day.
Unfortunately, you cannot stay nine forever and this magical time in your life must change and evolve into another one. Â Through it, I will continue to find joy in your beautiful smile, your gigantic and generous heart, and your limitless and grand ideas. Â Every bit of you is my favorite, favorite.
All my love,
Marla Cyree of Simply Splendid specializes in film photography in Portland, Oregon as a newborn, family, and wedding photographer.