Friday, September 26
When you have children and you see them day after day, night after everlasting night, you tend not to notice that they are growing. They grow and change each day, but we don't notice it. When they are infants you can't help but notice. They change so fast, even you who know every minute detail of their little bodies can see that they have grown. They getter bigger from week to week, sometimes it seems from hour to hour. If you watch close enough I swear you can even see their fingernails grow! But when they are older it seems to sneak up on you at unexpected moments, like when you pull out their change of season clothes. Abbey has had a bright pink raincoat for 2 years. I got it at Landsend, I love it, she loves it. When I first bought it she was 2, and it was too big for her, but she wore it anyway. I remember that the hood was so big that when she wore it up it would cover her entire face, making her look like someone from Star Wars. Today it is raining (as it is supposed to all weekend) and she pulled on her trustee pink raincoat. But today it was too small. When she put it on her wrists were hanging about 2 inches below the sleeves. I tried to pull the sleeves down, but her little white wrists kept creeping down again. I had one of those nostalgic moments as I placed the coat into my "give to another little girl we know" pile, next to her outgrown ladybug slippers and piles of summer tee's. This afternoon I realized that my children are old now, not old like give me the car keys get out of my face old, but markedly more independent than I feel they just were. For example, today they were playing, just entertaining themselves and I realize that this is wonderful. It is what is supposed to happen. But I was just standing in the kitchen, at a loss. I felt confused, like in a "what was I doing again?" state. It is disorienting when you spend years doing stuff for your children almost every waking hour of your life and then one day you realize with a start that now they do so much more on their own. And you are just left there, standing in the middle of the kitchen.