Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not Almost Seven

Abby and I were in the kitchen recently talking about the upcoming summer. We talked about next round-up of family birthdays, including hers. I told her that I couldn't believe that she would be seven this summer.

Because I busied myself washing dishes as we chatted, I couldn't see her incredulous stare. Her stare finally cut through my dish washing and I caught it, peripherally. I looked up from the sudsy sink.


"Yes, sweets?"

"Ummm, I'm going to be eight this summer."

Five little letters. One small word. Eight.

That little word smacked me and left a stinging swath. That five-letter-word sucked all the air out of the room. Abby continued to watch me. The drop in my gut validated that what she said was true.


I looked at her, unable to disguise my slight confusion--and luckily, she seemed to get a kick out of my mental lapse. I really, truly thought she was turning seven. Interestingly, I didn't think she was six. She's seven, turning seven. Of course! Seven turning seven makes all the sense in the world.

My mind had reached over and hit its own little pause button.

But my mental pause didn't reach any further than my mind. Time spinning, spinning, spinning. Recklessly this time. Time, moving with her own motive, laced with her own prerogatives. I stared at Abby. Blond, wind-whipped pieces of hair escaped her pony tail and framed her transitional face. Angularity had crept in and replaced once full, round cheeks. Adult teeth crowded her mouth. Her questioning blue eyes sparkled while showing that their particular shade of innocence had shifted just a tinge.

This permutation of time's passage left me reeling and raw. The usual questions surfaced, as if their rhetorical repeat would magically make my mental pause button effective:

When did this happen? Eight? Didn't I just rub Desitin on her diaper-rashed tushy? How did I miss the culmination of moments leading us here?

No longer a little girl.

Almost Eight.


Justine said...

I went an entire yet thinking I was turning a year older than I actually was. It was a good surprise when I realized otherwise, except I had wasted the whole year feeling old. Does that even make sense?

Watching our kids grow is a mixed blessing isn't it? So honored to be there to witness how they experience life but also a little sad that we can't stop time, especially during our favorite moments, like bedtime snuggles and joyful reunions.

Justine said...

Sigh - don't you hate it when you catch a typo AFTER you submit your comment? I meant to say *year* in the beginning, which I'm sure you knew, but I'm just anal like that.

Cathy said...

Yes time keeps on spinning. I can't believe my oldest has his learner's permit and is starting to drive. Soon he'll be off to college. Luckily there are two others to keep me company and watch grow. I like watching them grow into little people and then little adults.

Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri said...

When my five year old has conversations with me where she truly understands what she is saying, I just shake my head wondering when all the mumbles turned to coherent sentences. It makes me hold on to time even more.

ayala said...

Where does time go? It's hard to accept our babies are growing up but it is a blessing.

Dana Udall-Weiner said...

This happens when I think about my own age, and I imagine that it will soon start happening when I think of my kids' ages, too. They are still young enough that I can hold the numbers in my mind, but I understand so well the desire to press pause, and to subconsciously attempt to arrest time.

Alita said...

so bittersweet, eh?

almost eight. :) Time does fly by (cliche, but oh so very true.)


Christine said...

Wow. Your daughter is turning eight! When are you having another :)

Anonymous said...

I often forget my own age. I'm not even kidding. And indeed, I look at my oldest, who is only a couple of months away from 5 and I almost think he can't be mine, because how could my baby possibly be 5. It cuts to the quick.

P.S. This was gorgeous!!