As I Watched You Grow
by Taylor Tisdale
I was here before you. I was brought to watch over you and make you feel safe. I watched from the corner of the room with my chair in it as more stuff was packed into the room in preparation for you. Sheets, blankets, toys, clothes, and much more were neatly organized and perfectly folded for you. My anticipation grew and grew, until one day you appeared, and I knew from this day on you were my person. With your peach-fuzz head and small hands. You were too small to hold me yet, so I laid next to you waiting for the day you would be big enough to cuddle me back. I was there for all the midnight cries and late night feedings; you didn’t like to sleep very much but that was okay. For the first laugh and first smile. Oh how big were your chubby cheeks and dimples as you smiled. You were so beautiful, and I was honored to be yours.
You started growing and it seemed that every day you did something to amaze me. You grew some more and now we could sit together. So that is what we did. We sat and played with all your other toys for hours. And then suddenly we could crawl together and oh what adventures we got into then! The cupboard of DVDs were your favorite thing to get into. Throwing them out then putting them back in, over and over we rearranged those DVDs. We must have crawled every corner of the house, every crevice we could find, we conquered. And then it happened. The biggest milestone yet; you finally took those first steps. They were wobbly but it wasn’t long before you got the hang of it and were prancing and running all over the place. I thought crawling led us on big adventures, but oh how I was wrong. With your new found steps we ran and danced everywhere imaginable, getting into one thing or another. I was so proud of you.
We ate together for every meal. Blackberries and cheese were your favorite snacks; I still have those blackberry stains from where we mashed them up and threw them all over the dining room floor. Mom wasn’t very happy about the mess, but boy was it fun. That blackberry explosion also led to another first for us together—timeout. Timeouts were not the most fun thing in the world, but mom could never stay mad at us for long, and before we knew it, we were off on another adventure. We visited timeout frequently over the next couple of months, but at least we endured it together,
You continued to grow and now you were off to some place called Pre-K. I didn’t like this place at first, I couldn’t go with you. I would wait with anticipation every day for you to get home so we could go on more adventures together. I then realized that this school thing was good for you. It was hard letting you go every morning, not getting to play with you all day, but it meant you were venturing out into the world. You were making new friends and creating new memories with new people. And while this saddened me, it filled me with such joy to know that you were growing up and making a place for yourself in this world. I knew the day would come when you no longer needed me to fall asleep, or when I wasn’t needed on your playdates anymore; I will not frown at those days, because it means you are growing braver and more courageous every day. It means my job is coming to an end. You no longer need my protection because you are capable of taming those monsters on your own now. So while I sit in the corner of the room with my chair in it, I will not be sad over your new found freedom. I will not mope or cry over the thought of you slowly forgetting about me. Because I know in our short time together, we had fun. I will bask in the thoughts of the days we slayed the dragons and came back to a warm grilled cheeses and glasses of milk, knowing that you were and forever will be my person, and I will always be your bear.