She is getting so big now, you won’t believe it when you see her. The clothes she wore when you were here in March are packed away, and so are the next size after that.
She’s worn through two sizes of shoes, and that big clever brain is growing too (mental note: must buy her a new hat).
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The crawling baby you pushed in a pram last visit is now confidently running. She’s trying to climb things and when she feels really brave, attempting little jumps too. She spends a great deal of time slinging a bag over her shoulder, broadcasting “bubye” to her adoring fans and bossily pushing her soft toys in a tiny stroller up and down the hall.
We miss you. Video calls can only do so much. Surely she doesn’t understand why you can’t visit right now... how effectively can you really explain virus-related travel restrictions or border closures to a toddler?
For a long time after you left she woke in the mornings reciting your name. She would look around, adjusting her eyes and say, "Gaga, gaga".
"Gaga loves you, bubba," I would reply. "But people are sick. Gaga will come when she can."
Then she would nod her head emphatically and reach for a book.
How long is toddler memory? I don’t know if I should say this, but she’s stopped talking about you. She’s talking about dogs and bananas and sandpits, but not about Gaga.
They say that the Romanian orphanages grew silent because the children had given up getting their needs met. Has she given up on a reunion? Has she forgotten what Gaga-cuddles feel like?
I tried to tell you this on the phone the other day but the lump came in my throat and my eyes welled. She looked up at me curiously with widened eyes that said silently, "Oh Mama, are you sad? Don’t worry, I’m here with you."