Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Growing Pains

The other night, you asked me if you could take a bath with me.
It's easy to say no to that.
Who has the time.

But I paused- ever remembering my Grandma's story of when, 25 years ago, she was elbows-deep in her summer day of canning when my cousin C. called her, asking if she'd come swim with him. He was home alone and knew the rules- adult supervision. So, he called in the big gun- Grandma- and she didn't let him down. She shut off her stove, took off her apron, and headed for the pool. She said that day she knew the time when C. would ask her to spend time with him would cease. He'd grow up and get his license and join the world of unchildren. Grandma wanted to be present and a Yes person for as long as she could.

I remembered that as I drew our tub full of Philosophy's Raspberry Sorbet bubbles ... there will be a day, and mad-quick, that you won't ask to take a bath with your Mama. I'll say yes for as long as you wants me to.

We played mermaids, fashioned mohawks, listened to Taylor's new album, and got wrinkly.
You traced my stretch marks, commenting on how those were my owwies from letting you grow.
You asked me if they hurt, and I said yes.
Not the marks, so much, if at all. But yes ... it hurts, letting you grow.

In the best way hurting can.

Fall makes me nostalgic; November makes me swandive into memories of being pregnant, and waiting, not knowing. Of learning how to swaddle and clip tiny baby nails and lock carseats into Target's carts. Of learning to record your words, your hair clippings, and kissing your bruised forehead after another tumble. Of preserving handmade Halloween costumes and introducing you to Dirty Bingo at Thanksgiving and picking out Fir trees at River Bluffs Tree Farm. Of pictures of Santa Claus holding a tiny, fuzzy reindeer, only seven days old at the hot and crowded mall. Of the front porch and school bags with your name and new shoes in three bigger sizes from last fall.

Grow, grow little girl.
Mama loves.

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