There are times when each day seems like a year, and others, when I look away for a second and turn back to see that she's suddenly grown up. Overnight, the kids have outgrown their car seats and their clothes. She, my clingy mama's girl, once shy and reserved is now my chatterbox, full of giggles and observations about everything under the sun. She came home from preschool this year, just as I had begun to accept her introversion and not push her, and announced with pride, "Mama, I'm not shy anymore!" And her teachers concurred. Each day another one at her school and church comments on how she has come out of her shell and has become a leader.
I look, and see my beauty, all legs and bright blue eyes, twinkling smile...she just glows, and I am struck with wonder that she came from me, and that she is the same child I carried and carried and carried. Now it's, "Mama, want to color with me?" and she does swirls of raspberry and glittery blue, hearts and stars, and a mommy wearing a pink heart dress. Every inch of the page is covered with rainbow hues and each piece tells a story that she is eager to share. It's "Mama, come play something special with me" and she directs "Lalalucy" (aka: Lalaloopsy) and all her "babies" as I watch with a bemused smile. She asks me questions about what we should do next, and my suggestions are always met with, "Ok, let's do this instead..."
I am not so caught up in nostalgia. Up until this point, I was submerged in the monotony of a daily routine that never diverged from the endless tantrums, messes, no sleep, and growing pains of two young children. I was floundering and I do NOT want to go back. It is still not easy, but I'm more struck these days by the beauty of random moments. I'm more melancholy, wanting to grasp these moments that are slipping by so quickly. The moments when I can savor their sweetness and not become a screaming mess of impatience and frustration (that is mirrored back to me in their responses and tempers). Time when my boy and girl claim to be "best friends" and demand weekend "sleepovers" in Brady's room. The afterschool competition to see who can fill me in on his or her day without interruption from an eager sibling. The knowing smiles from other mothers, amused by her animated chatter as she gets a pedicure (an indulgence she discovered early in her young life).
And then, today, her question murmured to me at lunch as her daddy left the table for a moment:
"Do boys kiss girls, or do girls kiss boys?" I stammered a little, unprepared, "Well, I guess it can work either way. Why do you ask?" She said, unsure, "I don't know that I want a boy to kiss me." I told her with relief that it was perfectly okay, and she should never be kissed unless she wanted to be, and that she could always say "no" to anyone who attempted it. I asked her if she wanted to kiss anyone, and she thought for a moment and said, "Maybe Brady". He said, "Yay!" and then turned back to his video game.
These are the days I'll remember.