Her tiny hands wrap around my fingers and she holds tight. I pull her up to standing and encourage her to “walk” as she grips me. But I am stunned to notice that, standing, she rises to my mid-thigh. And I realize that this tiny creature that I have only even thought of as “infant” and “baby” is holding on to this identity only by her inability to stand on her own. In a few short weeks she will move from sitting and lying to standing and walking, and as she turns this corner she will leave babyhood behind forever.

This seems impossible.

My daughter is so sweet, so precious, so treasured. She loves to give me hugs and kisses, lying her head on my head, happily placing her slobbery mouth against my cheek. She loves to be touch and will giggle if you tickle her, or hold perfectly still and focused for a light massage. I love the way she flaps her arms in glee if she sees me coming towards her. When we are sitting on the porch blowing bubbles she belly laughs each time a bubble escapes from the wand, as though I had conjured it up out of thin air for her pleasure. Put some music on and you’ll see the cutest little dance you can imagine.

She is yearning to speak, chatting away always with a constant stream of syllables, the most common of which (like her brothers) is “uh-oh!” meaning anything and everything. But she tries to say “dadadadada” and “mamamamma” at the right moments, as well as “mo” and “audone” (more and all done). These are musical baby sounds rather than words, but she is trying for the right fit and looks so proud and bashful when we understand her.

Impossibly, nearly a year has passed since she made such a splash into our lives. As we approach this impossible milestone I feel myself awakening to the awareness of these fleeting moments. I treasure every day with you, little Daughter.