Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Growin' Up.

It dawned on me the other day as Lily,while brushing her teeth in the buff, said to me:

Mama. Go. I need my privacy.

That I am now truly sharing the bathroom with her.

She's nearing three, not 12.
She rifles through my make-up.
Insists on her outfits.
Comments on mine.

Mama. Stop singing.

Since when am I not cool anymore?
Isn't this supposed to come later?
Thankfully, I am allowed to sing on occasion. I am permitted to sing her to sleep, I am invited to join in on certain songs but typically I am interrupted, her hands dramatically gesturing, commanding -

No. Stop. Stop.

And with that, I am banished to parentland.

But as consumed as she is with growing up, she is still very much my little girl.
And I love her so.
Last night when I returned home (and found her out of bed)her caregiver declared,

She said she wanted to wait for her best friend to come home.

Yes, it was a ploy, but I'll take it.
This morning, sitting on my lap as I helped her wriggle into her ballet leotard,

We're good friends, Mama.

She is the best.
Mature and childlike in a beautiful, experimental way. She is exploring what it is to be self aware, she speaks of her feelings, she is sensitive.
She pecks me on the lips when she senses she's hurt me.
She is nurturing toward her older man, Jake.
And just the other night, while running and laughing, hand in hand, Jake looked at her and said

We have so much fun together, Lily!

I will never forget that. And I told her she must not either. Girls don't typically hear such effusive and honest declarations from boys.
Or perhaps they do.
Perhaps she will.
Go Lily.

But not too fast.

And last night as she went down to sleep,
I'm not tired Mama.
OK Pumpkin, just take it easy and I think you will fall asleep.
OK, I will just take a lot of easys and then you will come in on your bed and sing to me?
Yes Sweet Pea. I love you. Sweet dreams.
I love you, Mama.

And again, she is my babe.
To quote a friend's mother as she described her now grown child,

She is the daughter every woman wants.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Blues.

I just took a look at Mt. Tam.
Couldn't help myself.
I woke up with touch of melancholy, feeling out of sorts, tired and yearning for change.
And then I found some pictures of that beautiful mountain and it helped.
A bit.
Its beauty is unparalleled - so much that photos look retouched.
But if you've been there, you know they have not been.

And it made me just want to be above the clouds.
Just for a few minutes, nature in all its glory, undulating hills that breathe with life in utter silence. A blanket of fog resting gently below.

I can't wait to take Lily there, to experience the expanse.
To dance and run along the mountaintop.
If only we could click our heels.
She'd love it. Good air. Dry brush. Smells perfect.
And you really feel above it all.
Nice to get away, even if only in my mind.

Lily was asking about her dad recently and I told her how I like to think of him as being in the nature all around us. That we don't get to see him like other kids see their dads but we can talk about him, look at pictures of him - and feel him in our hearts.
And in the wind and the rain.

We can dream about him! She said.
Yes, we can Pumpkin, we can.

Her "magination" is exploding, she tells me of her dreams, her illustrations are taking shape, her dress up is vibrant, her humor - a riot.
Just the other day after we battled all morning like mother and teen daughter, she followed me into the bathroom,
I want you to be happy, Mama.
I am, Pumpkin, but you need to listen more.
I don't want you to be upset anymore, Mama.
I won't be, Lily, but I'm tired and still a bit upset.
Can you do this, Mama?

I looked down, and there she was smiling at me.

My master manipulator.

Yes I can, Lily.
You happy mama?
She kisses my leg.
Yes Lily, I am.

Most times.
But days like today, I wish we were elsewhere.