September 3, 2010 at 8:58 am 2 comments

My head is nearly spinning these days. It seems all of a sudden, without any warning at all, the girls are grown women. And it’s not like I haven’t been watching either, I scrutinize these little beings on a regular basis, but somehow their bigger-ness snuck up on me.

It’s the small things really. For instance, a few times now Echo has walked from the car to our door, by herself. I know several toddlers who are constantly removing their mother’s well-meaning, safety-assuring hands from their bodies with a bold, I can do it myself, Mama!, but not my kid. My child, thus far, has been basically a tiny adult in a baby’s body. Snuggling against my chest like a newborn while spouting the logic and reason of a twenty-something. Riding on my hip and spinning my hair around her fingers but pondering astronomy and working out math equations. Reading novels at bedtime but then nursing to sleep.

I have muscles of steel from balancing bags of groceries, half-eaten bagels, the precious toy of the moment, my own luggage, and a human being in my arm every single time we move from Point A to Point B. So you can imagine my shock when I lifted her down from her car seat and she simply walked. No arms reaching, no lengthy discussions in which she described to me how I could carry everything else in the whole world with my left arm and thereby free up my right arm in order to hold her. We strolled side by side, her little blonde head grazing my thigh occasionally. I felt like an empty nester, like I should crack open a can of Ensure or slug down a glass of prune juice to mark the moment.

And then she rode a tricycle.

And then she learned to cut with scissors.

It’s really almost too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love the independence, that I don’t have to spread each piece of paper taut while she manhandles the clunky cutting device, but goodness it all just goes so fast. I guess there is a bit of solace, a little reminder that she is still small, still young when she pronounces such things as scissors and tricycles. If she thinks about it and plans ahead she can say these words clearly with precise “s” sounds, but most of the time her tongue jumps forward to help and there is a lot of: Mom, can you pass me the thithorths? I didn’t know I could cut with thithorths all by mythelf! and: Mom, later can I do thome practith on the trithycle?

And then if solo-walking, tricycle riding, and scissor use weren’t enough, Xi started Montessori after seven years in home school. With a lunch box, folded down socks, and homework it’s as if she jumped straight into big kid world. It helps that her two front teeth are loose, not only for the increased too-cute-to-bear-it factor, but again, as a reminder that she’s seven. But still, we are waking to an alarm, hurrying against the clock, and then dropping her off, leaving her somewhere else, for the whole day, like a teenager. We all piled into the car to see her off on her very first day, and I was touched, even heartened when I saw Papa scoop her up in his arms and carry her within the doors. After all, if he can still hoist her, a lunch box, and a bag of school supplies she can’t be all that grown-up. Then again, now that she is a certified second-grader I wonder how long that practice will last. Sigh.

It’s a bit like watching the cycle of life in realtime. From baby to second grader. From mewling little lump to tricycle rider. Every child learns to reach for a toy, to bend their legs beneath them and propel themselves forward, no matter if they are the first-born or the fifth. Nevertheless, our girl’s first snips with the scissors feel monumental, and a glimpse of the seven-year old, seated in circle listening to a story, is a tear-jerker.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Judgement Embracing, Not Weeping

2 Comments Add your own

  • […] has learned to use scissors. It’s a “whoa” kinda thing to see our “little baby” exhibiting […]

  • 2. carrie  |  September 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    oH yes
    Feeling it to
    my eldest 7 started 1st grade this week at our local Waldorf school and i am moved by the bravery he has inside of himself to reach out of his comfort zone.
    He decided today he wanted to walk in alone then changed his mind and then changed it again
    to imagine the strength he is pulling from within to do this —well it moves me deeply.
    it seems like yesterday that he was my baby my toddler
    i have enjoyed it all


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