photo by daddy
Katie called from my mom’s house on Sunday morning. She was having a ball – all the nerves of the night before long since eclipsed by the anticipation of the day ahead.
I was so proud of my girl. She was proud of herself. She had conquered her fear and made it through her first sleep over. It was in her voice. She sounded older, more poised, more mature.
She wanted to speak to each of us – to touch each base in turn.
After listening to a delightful run-down of the schedule for the day, I switched the phone to speaker and handed it off to Brooke.
“How are you, Brooke?”
“I’m fine, Brooke – Great job asking me! Brooke, what are you doing?”
Brooke tapped her hands on her thighs.
“I’m doing this.”
“Oh. That’s nice. What’s ‘this’, Brooke?”
“This.” She tapped her hands on her thighs again – a little more slowly, as if to show the detail in the action.
“Brooke, can you use your words to tell me what you’re doing? Can you DESCRIBE it?”
“Sure, Katie. I’m doing this.” She drew out the word this time .. thiiiiis.
“Well, that sounds great, Brooke. Have fun doing – um, ‘that’.”
Quiet. Brooke was getting fidgy. The conversation has lasted far longer than most.
“Brooke, are you all done talking?”
“O.K. I love you, Brooke.”
“I love you, Katie.”
I took the phone back before sending it over to Daddy.
I told her that I loved her more than salty french fries on the beach. What? Not the ultimate yard stick of love in your house? Whatever.
I did NOT tell her that I had wandered into her empty room the night before. I did NOT tell her how I’d straightened her quilt (again) or moved her stuffies into their preferred places. I did NOT tell her how I’d curled onto her pillow for just a second (or um, two) and cuddled her favorite stuffed bunny – the one who sleeps at her back every night – cherishing the smell of her on its ‘fur’. I did NOT tell her that I felt like my left arm was missing and that I couldn’t wait for her to come home.
Instead, I told her how proud I was of her. I told her that I couldn’t wait to see her the following day. I told her she was going to have a great time with her grandparents, which is exactly what she did.
Yes, my little girl is growing up. And I’m so proud I could bust.