She’s eight. I’m no longer one of those moms with babies. Or toddlers. I’ll never have a preschooler or a kindergartner again. It’s sad, but so so sweet, too. She can run her own bath, and swim laps, and brush her own hair, and boy does she have ideas about how she wants her hair to look. She has beautiful, soft hair. It still smells good after a bath, but smells more little girl than baby. I know now why grandmas want to smell babies heads – it’s like crack. You get a whiff and you want it the rest of your life.
She’s in 2nd grade now, and reading stuff like Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, and likes clothes and puppies and stuffed animals and jewelry. She likes reading and writing and homework, and god help me, crafts. She is sensitive and sweet and nothing like me. She wants to please us and her friends and her teachers. She wishes she had a sister. She still writes notes to Fairies, and believes in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. She still loves my hugs, and wants to be with me whenever she can. She sits next to me comfortably, and without pulling away. She is a Brownie. A swimmer. She has the most amazing smile, even with that little snaggle tooth. Her laugh is my favorite song. And she laughs a lot – she likes to make up jokes, and she likes it when we make jokes. She wants to be a vet. And a zookeeper. She likes math. SHE LIKES MATH. She makes up stories. She writes stories. She loves loves loves her Grandmas. She wraps Grandpas around her fingers with just a smile, or a hug. She adores Leah and Syd, Mia and Liliana, Rachel, and Gia, Nathan, Tristan, and Michael. She loves her brother, but god do they fight sometimes.
This week, at the lake, I watched her, and she didn’t know i was watching. She sat under a tree, and wrapped her arms around her knees, and gazed out over the lake. And I knew she was thinking. Just like I used to think under Connie’s dogwood tree. Or on the front rocker of our porch in New York. Like i still think when I lie on the boards of the dock at night and ponder the moon and the planets and the constellations. Sometimes she lies with me. Sometimes she holds my hand. She holds me in her hand.
MUSHY. Let’s talk about the party.
So, yeah, we had an old-school carport cookie-decoratin’ party. October birthdays might be the best.