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If I Could Keep You Little

Each Beautiful Stage

When my daughter, Vaida, turned one, she received a book, “If I Could Keep You Little”, by Marianne Richmond. Every time we read it, I’m reminded that my babies are growing, and there is a lifetime of treasured stages to come. Those precious moments of today will become something different tomorrow. I try not to let it weigh me down, that each day, my kids are growing and their littleness is drifting further away. Of course I want to bottle them and their sweetness, don’t you? Sometimes though, I just want to hang onto the stage we’re in, for one more moment.

This book reads “If I could keep you little, I’d hum you lullabies. But then I’d miss you singing your concert’s big surprise.” Oh can my girls sing. And I encourage them to sing their little hearts out every chance they get! With singing, comes dancing. Prentiss recently informed me, “I should be able to dance mom, because I have this body and I am so good at moving it!” Yes, my little darling, yes you are. I want her to sing and dance every day, forever.

“If I could keep you little, I’d tell you stories every night. But then I’d miss you reading the words you’ve learned by sight”. Grade One. When I had my first daughter, the thought of school didn’t even cross my mind. All that mattered was this little bundle of baby. I did not think about her going to school. Yet here she is, rocking it – reading books, writing letters to her family and friends, and becoming an individual. I am truly in awe. I made her!

“If I could keep you little, I’d push your ducky float. But then I’d miss you feeling the wind behind summer’s boat” Yes! Nothing is more gratifying than seeing children truly smiling from the inside out. I can’t help but smile back when I see them enjoying those summer days or skiing in the winter. I love hearing their giggles from far away, or watching them run up to us to tell a quick story before taking off again, skipping. This is what life is all about, and right now, it feels like these will be the best years of our lives.

My Heart Is Truly Content

Every page in this book is so warming to me. I want to keep them little, but watching them grow is just too incredible. Prentiss (my oldest daughter) is now 6. She is continuously presenting me with the most precious drawings (as posted here). I want to plaster them everywhere. I do plaster them everywhere! She reads stories to us now. She is the first one to run for an ice pack if one of her sisters gets a “bump”. She skis her heart out, swims like a fish, and currently has a Lego project on the go that takes up our entire kitchen table. She is awesome.

Vaida is 4 1/2. She loves everything gross and nasty – bugs, blood, boogers, all of it! I am sure she will become a nurse just like her mama. She is so loving with every doll bundled up and put to bed so carefully. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is so sensitive. Such a sweet girl. When she was a baby, she wanted only mama or dada from 3 months all the way until she turned one. I didn’t mind; in fact, I loved it. But the day she reached out and took the world into her own hands was so special too. She gained the confidence to step away from us, knowing she was ok. I am so proud of her.

Our baby, Marah, is 2 1/2. I squish my face in her neck every chance I get. Her growing language keeps all of us in stitches daily. There is nothing she won’t attempt to describe to us. Her stories go on and on, and I look forward to every one. Even though she’s the youngest, she keeps up to her sisters. The three of them are building forts, making crafts, painting nails and playing house every day. Where you find Prentiss and Vaida, you will find Marah. She’s still so little, but so big at the same time. She will always be my baby regardless of how old she is.

Of course when FB posts a memory of one of them eating avocado for the first time at 6 months or belting out the most perfect baby giggle, a part of me screams to hold those sweet babies again. But then I see who they are now and who they are becoming, and I just can’t help but love being right here, right now. There are still so many more stages they’ll go through and I want to see them all. So thank you, Marianne Richmond, for writing this book. You ground me. And some days us mamas need grounding.

“If I could keep you little, I’d keep you close to me. But then I’d miss you growing into who you’re meant to be!” I am so truly proud of my little girls and who they are becoming. I could not ask for anything more as a mother.

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