Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Long & Short

She has a loose tooth.

My Grandma has always said the days are often long but the years are short. Amen.

We're in a season of long days and overbooked schedules. I've never been more anxious for summer to simply slow down. Stare at blank calendar pages. Breathe. Soak. Appreciate. Notice. It'll be hard of course, to uphold my empty summer promise as the invites and events and spontaneity creep in- I for one hate missing out on things. Like, hate. But ... I will live and be better off for it.

I just got off a stint of three straight weeks of travel, and one of them as a hellacious five-day week of absence. I have never loved Steve Jobs more than I did that week for FaceTime. Each morning from the desert of Nevada I helped the Lil' Dude pick out her day's outfits. I said good morning to (and scared the shit out of) the Beagle, I even peeked in on Florence the Machine (miniature Painter's turtle) until the Dad said, "Hey, whoa ... let's take the phone out of the turtle's water habitat ..." By day five, my kid was over seeing my face and just wanted to wave from the couch. A wave! Then my return home was delayed by a cool 14 hours that day ... a day of epic shittiness where I learned to never, ever promise five-year-olds you'll be there for lunch when there is a good chance you'll be at Delta's Gate 43 trying not to cry, get drunk, or be mean to helpful strangers.

It reminded me of the same trip home five years earlier ... from the same desert. My return was delayed 36 hours ... I've blocked most of it from my memory as many PTSD patients do, but I remember feeling like crap and just needing the Dad and my house and normalcy. When I finally made it home, I slept for  days and only woke up to go see my doctor ... who told me I was pregnant.

The years are so, so very short.

And this year, on my delayed trip home, I thought of the last time that happened. What I didn't even know awaited me at home.

And when I ran in the door this time and up the stairs to scoop up my blonde tornado, she showed me her loose tooth. Look Mama! I am not even in Kindergarten. I am going to lose ALL my teeth and did you know I get money when that happens? Like C. and C. at daycare ... they have lost teeth and they got money ...

I had to sit down and put my head between my knees to keep from hyperventilating while she yammered on and on about her tooth. Five years; gone. I remember where I was and what I was wearing when I learned she got her first tooth ... in June, 2008. Yeah, she was on vacation at her great-aunt's. I was at work. I had to sit down and put my head between my knees to prevent hyperventilating then, too.

The next morning she woke up and attached herself to my side barnacle-style as we made a short list for the day- coffee and groceries and a movie in bed with the option of a nap (jetlag, y'all). I gave her all the love and attention and reaffirmation her tiny self needed that day, all I could manage in my bleariness anyways. And when that glorious, lazy day of kid and Mamaness gave way to yet another where I finally felt my maternal bearings return, Kid Rock had the audacity to say no, she couldn't get dressed. Her tooth hurt. No, she couldn't put her dishes in the sink, let the dog out, brush her teeth or listen to common commands. Her tooth hurt too bad. Poor baby's loose tooth prevented her from using manners, showing respect, or complying to anything in life that day.

The days are so, so very long.

She asked me the other day how many sleeps until Kindergarten, and I told her to go clean her room. Too soon- a popular catchphrase in my house, too soon. I know she is hellbent on being a big kid and I am hellbent on making myself accept that.

When that tooth does fall out, I'm grounding her for the entire summer.


Anonymous said...
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Rachel said...

Too funny I read this today of all days.