I can't pinpoint in my mind exactly when it was taken. I have my "favorite" photos that I have practically memorized and this photo hadn't been "filed" away in my mind. For some reason when I run across one I can't remember seeing the contrast hits me like a ton of bricks. To most people Carter probably still looks very much like she does in this photo, to me she looks like my little baby. And if you spent everyday playing, talking and chasing after her mile long legs you would know our little chick is no longer a baby. So, no real reason for this post...just a range of what I'm assuming are very typical "motherly" emotions. On the one hand I could not be more proud of the little lady whose cheerful chatter fills my days...and on the other I just wish I could freeze time or at least store it in a pretty little glass bottle. I would tuck it away safely and pour at the littlest drop when I needed to cuddle or just smell that sweet baby smell. I think I would be sure and add a little bit of the way I'm feeling at this very moment into the bottle as well. It would be just what the doctor ordered on those days when I'm snappy, tired and giving her less than my very best. The perfect reminder that time is too short to look back with regrets.
I love you sweet Carter...and as badly as my fingers want to type the words you'll always be my baby...I know deep down in my heart you were created to grow up. I just want you to know that I am profoundly changed by having you as my baby. I think what it all boils down to is the realization that in the beautiful story of your life a chapter is ending. I say that with an equal amount of sadness and pride. You are beautiful. And in so many ways your journey has just begun...I'll love you every step of the way...mom.