Her dirty blonde ringlets cascade down her flawless face. She purrs as she slips into her colorful sleep, dreaming of innocence. Her body curled like a baby cub, unformed and yet fearless. She smells like rain. She is a little girl, and I see the ruminates of my baby starting to slip away.

I never really thought about magnitude of time until she was born. In my past, I would squander weeks and months without a marker to show where I had been. Ignorantly believing that I was impervious to it. Now every inch of her is an indication of time’s punishing truth and how fast it’s diminishing.

I cried last night. Or more like I sobbed. An ugly, guttural, wail that was unstoppable. She is about to turn seven and I cried over the time that I would never get back. Those first unhinged, fuzzy, newborn moments, the unseasoned birthdays, the words lisped through missing teeth- all bathed in freshness. Those moments when I too as a mother muscled through new thorny emotions that took me by such surprise it questioned everything I ever thought I knew. The moments that stripped me of my own lies that I had to stand naked to change.  All these things, they will forever be remote vivid colorings in my mind.

Watching your child stretch and grow before your eyes brings on a type of dull pain. Like that of nostalgia. It’s always uncomfortable, uneasy, unsettling. You never really get used to the idea that nothing is permanent. It’s all an illusion. It is such a torturous game. For when you pause and take note and fumble as you try to document it, it hurtles past and becomes that of a distant memory that you will never get to caress again.

Motherhood is not the easiest role. You watch a better version of yourself, slip and slide and bounce and break. You hold on so tight, suffocating in your own control.

But like a balloon, dancing in the unending sky, one must let go. Let go of the clock’s deafening honesty. For there is no other choice.

By Tammin Sursok.