A day away
A few months after that, Peanut turns 8.
These ages, especially 8, are starting to resemble big-kid ages. Granted, it was a different world, but at 8 or 9, I was walking home – a full half mile – from the bus stop by myself. I wore a house key around my neck and unlocked the front door by myself and entered a home that would be empty for another two hours.
A very different world, indeed, but still . . . I did that when I was just a year or so older than Peanut.
My daughters are growing up at a remarkable rate. Their ages seem impossible because they were born, like, yesterday and there is just NO WAY they can be (almost) 6 and 8.
Yet they are.
The princess dresses go largely unworn these days, replaced by Harry Potter capes and magic wands. Picture books sit collecting dust in favor of chapter books.
* * *
Recently, a friend sent me a scanned picture of our preschool class – a group of four-year-olds dressed in their Sunday finest captured in black-and-white. I e-mailed it to my mom.
“I remember like yesterday,” she wrote back.
I wonder if a mother’s yesterday ever gets any farther away. Not the actual yesterday – the one where you got up, made breakfast, went to work, etc., but the yesterday that exists forever in your mind recalling the day when you rocked a tiny child to sleep, stroking her hair and murmuring lullabies in her ear. The day you put your child in her best dress and sent her to school for a class picture.
I hope not, because facing these big-kid ages, followed by the tough middle and high school years, then college and finally, adulthood, seems a lot more palatable knowing I can always close my eyes and bring back the past – recalling those precious baby coos, feeling that soft hair under my fingertips and taking in that sweet baby smell.