Every once in a while, in the crazy whirlwind that is toddlerhood, a moment, an idea, an experience stands out as transformative and magical. You can almost feel things clicking into place, as her worldview grows just a tiny bit. As mamas, I think we chase those moments. We yearn to create them. We run after them out in the big, wide world. We hoard them and protect them and manipulate them, all for the pure joy of watching our little one learn about herself and her world and for the selfish satisfaction of knowing that we are creating beautiful memories for her.
These are the things, the moments, that she talks about in the dark, just before she closes her eyes to go to sleep, when her mind races through her day and her words come tumbling out in a great rush and I can't tell whether she's talking to me or herself or her doll or the stars outside her window. That's how I know what moments have crystallized in her memory. That's how I know what she cherishes.
The big lesson for me was realizing how simple and small those moments could be. Riding a carousel. Running through a sprinkler. Building a fairy house. Baking a cake. Topping a pizza. Picking a blueberry. Splashing in a puddle. Meeting a new friend. A few days ago, Juniper was completely enamored with an ant that was crawling on her arm. "It tickles! It TICKLES! You're so tickly, Ant!" Later that night, she reminded me about the ant that visited her arm in the garden and gave her a tickle. Sometimes those moments are so small, it is easy for me to miss them all together.
Other times though, something big and new and wonderful comes along and I know my little girl will have much to chat about that night. A first. A first can't help but be magical in some way, right? Last week, Juni got her first horseback ride, thanks to her Grandmom. What is it with little girls and horses?