It is strange to me, the unlikely and mundane times that something strikes me and gives me pause. For some it's a beautiful sunset. Or crashing waves. Or the birth of a child. The death of a loved one. Milestone occasions like graduations, birthdays, weddings. Most of these give me pause - and I understand why.
But this morning, passing by my daughters bedroom, seeing her hair stick out of the top of her covers, legs out the opposite end - her on the bed at an angle - feet dangling in spite of nocturnal efforts to fit all that length onto one mattress, this morning I was struck unawares and overwhelmed with a sense of pause.
That lanky, sleeping thing - that's my baby girl. I stop. I look - take her in. What am I seeing? I'm seeing the 15 year old version of the baby I grew in my womb - in the core of my self - she is growing into herself. I can't physically carry her anymore. She stopped needing carrying long ago. But sometimes I still get to hold her. Just sometimes - when we are watching a movie or reading a book. She'll forget she's a teenager and allow herself to remember that no matter how old we are there's nothing like our Mother's loving touch - those times I still get to hold her. How is it that even as she grows to heights that tower over me, she still needs me?
I feel a catch in my throat. That catch - it's the physical manifestation of an emotional and intellectual realization. A realization that she doesn't need me as much as she used too, as much as I need her too. As much as I need her.
One of our biggest "issues" is that she does not move physically as fast as I do. Seems I'm always ready to go while she's still getting ready. It makes me crazy. I make her crazy. She often hears the following, in full, or in part:
"Can you move a little faster? Please!"
"What is taking you so long?"
"Ok, I'm walking out the door now."
"Hurry up already!"
15 years ago, it was impossible to grasp just how much Time was going to "Hurry up already!" Impossible to grasp that the quick passage of time would find me one morning, standing in the hallway holding back tears and longing for life to slow down, longing for some of those years back, wishing I'd been wise enough in her early years to not wish away the diapering, the shoe tieing, the chopping food into little bits, the hair washing, bathing, hand-holding to cross the parking lot, 'read this to me one more time Mommy' mundaneness of it all. What I would give now to have even one day of it back!
Oh, when I think of all the time I spent rushing, hurrying myself and my daughter along to the next thing. It brings a certain heaviness to my heart.
Recently when I was rushing her she said "You know, you're my Mom. You're supposed to wait for me." Isn't it ironic then, that while physically she moves slower than me the natural course of life is causing her to grow into a wonderful young woman. My baby. Turning into a lady right before my very eyes. I don't feel ready yet. I want to yell at Time "SLOW DOWN! WAIT! YOU'RE GOING TOO FAST!"
15 years I've waited for her - I hope she'll take note and be patient now that she's the one waiting for me.
Thinking on this all today as I have been, reminded me of this song (it's one of our favorites):