It is slipping away. And I know it.
As I watched my daughter play her recorder at her school’s music performance, the moment screamed at me like a sudden backfire from a car. This intersection of time will never happen again. And that’s when inside, a deep sense of sadness grips me, knowing that what is always turns into what was.
The swerve of my mind is captured in rounding those corners. I know my daughter does not need me in the ways that she once did before. In the morning, instead of guiding her through her routine, she just announces, “I am ready, Momma. Let’s go.” Last week, we were walking along the sidewalk outside a strip mall and I had her hand in mine. She looked up and said, “Momma, why are you holding my hand?” I didn’t know how to tell her that clasping her fingers into mine was more for my benefit than hers. She spits out her opinions out with gusto and does not always ask, as she did in the past, “What do you think, Momma?”
My push into the periphery is happening. In less than a month, my little girl will turn 8. I realize she is on the cusp of so much and my role as her mother will morph into helping her navigate into more complicated and layered situations. I realize that a pat on the back, a hug, or kissing a boo-boo that will make it all better will recede into the past. Gone are the days when she will believe that band aids make everything better. I suspect that she will start forming her own opinions and the days of fairy tales and Santa and the tooth fairy will become more myth than her reality.
As she sat in her chair upright, blowing her recorder, a part of me wanted to yell, “Stop!” I suspect so many of us have these conversations where, as time is passing, we want to preserve the moment as it is happening. I looked at my little girl and I tried to catch my breath. Her limbs filled in the chair and she sat in the chair upright, focused on the notes in the music. At one moment, she motioned for me to stop taking so many pictures.
I half-smiled. She is growing up. And with mixed feelings, I realized, that I am too.