Have you ever stopped to look at your kid? Like, really stop and stare? I used to get away with this a lot when she was little – those long hours breastfeeding were perfect for studying her long eyelashes, the nose that resembles mine, the roundness of her cheeks, the thinness of her nails; feel the warmth of her breath.

More than four years later I caught myself doing it again. In a rare quiet moment when we were playing together, I realized I had stopped what I was doing and was just staring at my daughter. Noticing how certain and focused her movements were, how bright her eyes are; how observant. How keen her hearing is. How blonde and soft her hair is. How her eyes dance and her fists curl when she belly laughs. Those same fists that would curl around my finger when she was small enough to cradle close in my arms.

I am in awe of the girl she’s becoming, and that I get to be part of helping her grow. I will never tire of watching that happen.