My knuckles strike gently against her bedroom door… “Who is it?” she asks… the sweetness from her voice making its way to me, warming my heart~
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.
~Ivy Baker Priest
“Nothing” as she pulls her sketch book to her chest, her legs in motion, knees bending upwards, her delicate body leans in, protecting her works with her might from wandering eyes.
What she used to say: “Mommy, Mommy, come see what I can do!” is growing free… “Mom, you know my drawings are private!”
Looking at her ringlets of goldilocks spiraling over her head, framing her face so sweet, and her hands and feet expanding quicker than any other part of her body…she is growing; signaling me that our world is changing and it is time for a new play book. But, honestly all I want to do is press a pause button, scoop her up and keep her close… as in FOREVER!
Maybe, not forever, so I resist the inner impulse of scooping and snuggling her close, finding a rocking chair and singing lullabies, as I did when she was baby, and I was Mommy.
Not believing the voice ringing in my head “I’m a big girl now, Mom” and willing it quiet… has much appeal.
Instead, the words “Goodnight kiddo… I love you” flows from my mouth. I push my feelings aside; the maternal instinct to accept her journey towards exerting independence takes over.
I bend down to kiss her forehead, my hand touches the back of her head, and I feel the softness and thickness of her hair. I take in the aroma of a big kid after bath scent. I miss the baby powdery, baby fresh fragrance that once clung to her little body, way back when.
I can’t help selfishly wanting, thinking; “Where the heck is a rocking chair when you need one?!” She isn’t a “baby” but no matter her age, she will always be my baby girl. And, damn-it, I want to rock and sing her lullabies…
I asked her the other night, she declined, “Uh, no Mom!”
I mean seriously, who can blame a “MOM” for trying, right?!
I painfully bid farewell to days of being Mommy, holding my little one, rocking and singing her lullabies…memories made!
I am thankful for snuggly blankets and recliners that rock… she hasn’t outgrown my lap completely!
The time has come; Mom replaces Mommy, recliner replaces rocking chair, and books replace lullabies… that doesn’t sound so awful! I may jolly well be
talking to convincing myself!
I swallow the lump stuck in my throat, and feel the burn in my eyes, ahem; I quickly compose myself and head for the door.
I turn to meet her eyes; I smile, and she smiles back.
“Mom, I love you, as much as the solar system is big, times 1000, plus 60 years!”
Wow! I love that kid as much as the World is Big… I have no idea what I did to deserve such wonder in my life; I am grateful beyond words.
What I would like to give my daughter is freedom. And this is something that must be given by example, not by exhortation. Freedom is a loose leash, a license to be different from your mother and still be loved. Freedom is not insisting that your daughter share your limitations. Freedom also means letting your daughter reject you when she needs to and come back when she needs to. Freedom is unconditional love.