“Momma, I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay a kid forever.”
She stands in front of me, long legs ending in feet that will be able to wear my shoes before long. She barely fits beneath my chin when in front of me. I have to lean my head back and stretch my body to make it work.
But I do. Make it work. I fit her into that place between my chin and my heart. I tuck her there and silently wish that she would always fit in this space. I wrap my arms around her and squeeze as tight as I can hoping there is some type of momma magic that will keep her small for a little while longer.
“I know baby, but that’s not the way it works. The important thing is to try to stay a kid in your heart as long as possible. Don’t hurry growing up.”
I plant a kiss and a dream on top of her head before she skips off to apply lip gloss in the bathroom mirror. She croons the latest top 40 hit as she admires herself. She only sees beauty reflected.
Returning to me, she lands on the couch with a plop and asks, “When can I start shaving my legs?”
I manage to squelch down the “but I thought you didn’t want to grow up.” This is the stage where we are. The push and pull stage of wanting to be little and big at the same time. The bathing with Barbies and bubbles while wondering about razors and shaving cream.
“I don’t know babe. Let me think about it.”
Oftentimes that’s the only answer I have. I don’t know how to navigate through these waters even though I’ve traveled them before. The way looks different when you are the one at the helm of the ship as opposed to being the one along for the ride.
My girl starts third grade this morning. She shaved her legs last night for the first time. She was so happy with her smooth legs and the fact that she didn’t cut herself. I was happy that she still wants to be tucked in with her baby doll.
Not too fast Baby Girl. Not too fast.