Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Like Taffy

Ever have those moments where you look at your kids and feel overwhelmed and in awe of them? I felt that way tonight watching Emma do her homework...her furrowed brow, her freckles, her serious expression. I had a moment where I saw her perfect little baby head, bald as can be, and her ginormous baby cheeks. How did she turn into this 5th grader writing in her reading log, chewing on her pencil?

This blog is often about life's little moments, about family, about pugs, teaching, and random thoughts--but it always circles back around to the two girls God blessed me with.

On the way home to get ready for water polo practice tonight, Grace piped up from the back seat, "Now, when we get home, don't dilly dally! We have to get our bathing suits, grab towels, and get back in the car. I don't want to be late!"

As she speaks, I'm thinking, "Dilly dally....where did she get that term? Do I say that? Does she remember it from Grandma Otti? Is she an 85-year-old woman trapped in the body of a 5th grader?"

My brain begins to spin in circles.

I reflect....

My childhood felt like an eternity. We lived in Mammoth. Danielle was born. We moved to Bishop. We went to school. It was so cold in the Winter that my legs would be purple beneath my knee high socks. We swam at Mill Pond in the summer, trying to stand up and "walk" on the logs that floated in the pond. We played all around the neighborhood, catching pollywogs and saving baby birds. We rode horses, practiced piano, and ate one of the several home-cooked meals my mom would make: tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf, fried chicken, or pork chops. Or, we ate at the Sizzler, and since my parents owned it, we ate there a lot. We roller skated in the driveway. We sang in chorus, played on the monkey bars, and went to the Presbyterian church. The driveway was long, and so were the days of summer, when my sister and I would curl up together in the lazy boy and watch reruns of The Love Boat and The Price is Right. We did homework, got stuck on math lessons, and read book after book after book. We went to school dances, and were too shy to dance with the boys. We went to youth group. We skied Mammoth. We played lots and lots of Barbies. Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, and Care Bears made appearances, but Barbies dominated. We camped, went fishing, and roasted marshmallows. We told ghost stories. We ate chocolate chip cookie dough, and discovered bagels and cream cheese. We grew, our knees scabbed from crashing bicycles and our legs bruised from climbing trees.

My point?

This. Took. Forever.


My daughters are ten. TEN! They will be in middle school next year. They will grow into 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the blink of an eye. They (may) get attitudes. They (will) hit puberty (and without Judy Blume's help!) They will have crushes on boys. They will be hurt by gossip, and betrayed by friends. They will make new friends. They will learn to let things go. They will fall in love and get their hearts broken and fall in love again. They will apply to college and suffer through standardized tests.

In my head, this is all happening like those fast-forward sequences in a movie.


I need to pause a minute every once in a while and tell you about my daughter's freckles, or about the time my other daughter said "dilly dally" on the way to water polo practice. I need to tell you that it was only three seconds ago that the two of them were babies, one with a bald head, one with a pacifier, both with fiery attitudes and big belly laughs.

I need you to know that this isn't about your entertainment, but about me, stretching each moment between my fingers like taffy, pulling it longer and longer to see every bit of it before it goes away.

Thank you for understanding.