Monday, February 20, 2012

Growing up

Sometimes, it just hits me. Jo is growing up. 

I have been here, right alongside her, for everything. Everything. Aside from a few selected events, I've been somewhere in the picture. Maybe standing outside waiting, maybe holding the camera, maybe front and center directing the production ... but I've been there.

And yet, it's still not enough, is it? It's still achingly brief, this childhood. Even the seasons that feel like eternity--parenting the preschooler going through a biting phase, maybe--are so, so short when you step back and drink in the big picture. It sounds cliche. But it is heartbreakingly true: they grow up so fast, and are grown before you know it.

I want another chance to read "Charlotte's Web," to a pig-obsessed Jo with too-big glasses over her grey eyes and too-short bangs bobbing high on her forehead. Another morning of watching my lanky pre-teen mismatch her Chucks. One more go at hearing the sticky-sweet faux English accent she used when playing with her American Girl dolls.

But that Jo is gone. Instead, I have the Jo who reads The Omnivore's Dilemma and pours over every label that goes into the grocery buggy. I get to watch tall, thin Jo as she figures out which skirts go best with which leggings, and which tops look best on her inherited, bustier figure. I get to share a blanket with her on cold winter nights, our feet encased in heavy wool socks and our knees bumping, while we knit by the fire and listen to Mr. Blandings read aloud. 

This is a good place to be. A healthy place. A right now place. Soon enough, I'll be longing even for this as I watch my daughter launch into yet another season of growth and independence. No doubt, I'll feel that these precious moments slipped through my fingers, despite my presence. And that's o.k. I will always have my memories ... and the pictures in my mind.


Susan in the Boonies said...

It's's not...

I know just what you mean.

I MADE mine watch Worst Cooks in America with me the other night because I KNEW just what you wrote here. And I wanted to cuddle. Just a bit. And laugh with her: just a bit. Since the time is coming when I won't be able to do that.

Robin said...

I know just what you mean...sad and wonderful all at the same time.