After dinner we fill out our books, questions for each and every day that remind us to stop and slow down and talk to one another. We had gotten a few days behind, so last night we were playing catch up. Emily was filling out her book and I heard her sniff.
MQD had taken Lucy to the bath tub and we were alone in the kitchen. “Are you ok?”
She was crying. And she wasn’t crying for the sake of getting my attention, she was actually trying to shrug it off. “What’s wrong, Em?”
“Travel back in time, be my mommy’s baby.”
We had the usual conversation about how she will always be my baby girl. I shut the dishwasher and flopped down on the couch. I held her tight and said that the best thing about being a kid is that no matter how old you get – this feeling – that feeling where nothing else matters in the entire world when your mom puts her arms around you – that never goes away. I told her that she can always close her eyes, no matter where she is, and imagine that I am right there and know that if I was there I’d do the very same thing I am doing right now. I’d hug her, with my face pressed against the top of her head and say “I love you, I love you so much it’s crazy, baby girl.”
We talked and laughed and cried and eventually hugging became tickling and tickling became screaming and screaming attracts the dog. We decided to get out for a bit. Take the dog for a walk. Wipe our tears away.
As we walked we talked about the first day of school and her new hair cut. We discussed for the 875th time the relative merits of capri pants vs shorts and the possibility of rain on that first day. Deep stuff.
We came back to the front door and I bent down to take Fish off of his leash and I said “Hey, you” while I was down there. Emily came to me, nearly knocking me down as she usually does. “Listen, I have been trying to make this week special since it is the last week of summer break. You know, letting you go in and get your hair cut by yourself, just little stuff to make you feel like a big girl. I’m proud of you.”
Her eyes got wet as mine often do. “I know,” she said. “But could you try a little less.”
And so today we colored. And we did not think about being a big girl. Or second grade. We just colored.