|She had all her baby teeth then.|
She was starting kindergarten. I was the morning kindergarten language arts teacher. It was hard for her to share me with the other kids. It all worked out--it was a good class. I learned a lot too.
That gritty grin of hers, I didn't see the emerging personality coming through the way other people would. Another teacher would complain about her being too loud, or too chatty, or when uncertain, not answering.
Three years ago she was just my girl who still had all her baby teeth.
After I saw this, I thought on third grade. On a summer that was consumed. On learning to order priorities. On the very fleeting wisp of time. I really wanted to go back and sit longer under that walnut tree.
(Cleaning up in Erin's room yesterday, I held a little porcelain teacup and told the girls how Lanie and I used to have tea parties with her toys when she was two and three years old.
"I don't remember that," Lanie told me.
I wanted to stop the robbery of precious memories--time is a thief.)
I found Erin wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching Sophia the First. She tried to shoo me out of the room, but I said I just wanted to watch with her. She made room for me under her blanket. And when the show was over I offered, "Can I brush your teeth for you?"
"Ok!" she said.
Last night she gave me extra hugs. And I gave her extra kisses. And she didn't come downstairs for thisandthat, because in all of that, she felt tucked in.
Note to self: remember the things that need to come first aren't things.
Erin is creative, funny, sensitive, giving, fun to be around, a gift-giver, a shopper, a chocolate lover. She loves big splashes and silliness. She draws and films and writes stories. She loves dogs and loves to help me in the kitchen. She eats the dough off mixers and would eat chocolate cereal and Nutella sandwiches every day. Her friends mean so much to her. She is loud. She is chatty. She loves to laugh (often it seems like she tells me about her day in one long laugh).
I don't want to lose sight of the delightful girl she is.