Thursday, March 11, 2010

Little girl

The other night before getting the kids settled into bed, Lanie climbed into my arms. She's changed so much, and at seven, is given to fits of full-out silly. Her smile, evolving as baby teeth come out to make room for permanent. One top front tooth lost last week. Another working its way out, and there's no break from her looking for opportunities to show me how she many directions she can bend it.

"I like to freak you out," she said. Mission accomplished.

But holding her the other night, I thought of how she had just been a little baby, and I could get her to fall asleep simply by running my finger between her eyes and down to the tip of her nose. I traced the line of memory and smiled at her.

"I love you, Mom," she told me. And then surprised me with, "You are so beautiful." She reached out and played with my hair, touched my face.

When I look in the mirror, I see grays battling for more territory on my head. I see frown lines that make-up doesn't cover up. I see skin that looks older and eyes that look tired. I am shocked by the quick changes I've seen just in the past three years when I look at photographs. But she looks at me and sees something else. Someone else.

"When I grow up," she said, "I want to be a mom."

That little baby tooth fell out at after snack yesterday while she was at school. She was so excited, showed me the tooth holder necklace she could keep it in. I opened the container.

"I remember when you first got that tooth," I told her.

"I couldn't wait for it to come out. But," she says slightly disappointed, "I thought that would mean I'd get to be a lot bigger." To me, it's like she has grown up overnight. But to her, she still feels like a little girl.

No comments: