My daughter is turning eight in one month. Eight. We have now entered the age of Taylor Swift albums, sleepovers, giggles and whispers in best friend’s ears, eye rolls at boy…eye rolls at everything.
I love that she can tie her brother’s shoes and usually helps him without being asked. I love that she feeds the cat without a word from her dad or me, that she gets lost in chapter books for hours just like her mom, and that she enjoys practicing piano so much that we don’t even remind her to play.
I love that she’s old enough for inside jokes with grownups and those knowing glances when her little brother does something wacky.
But there are so many things I miss.
I miss the little hand that used to fit completely inside mine and stay there. I miss the little face that looked up at me pleading to hear The Tooth Book just one more time. No, I do not miss The Tooth Book.
I do miss Sandra Boynton: the hippos going berserk, the purple socks, the chickens dancing.
I miss wombats that like to curl up in a ball.
I miss Max and Ruby and Laurie Berkner.
I miss Miffy. Oh, Miffy.
I miss Sesame Street and all the friends in the neighborhood.
I miss words that stand for words but aren’t really words, motions that signal wants and the dopey smiles that go with them.
I miss milky mouths and milk drunk naps in my arms.
I love my big girl. I miss my baby.
If you want to close your eyes
And sleep beneath the tree
You can rest your head on me.
Under a shady tree, you and me
Under a shady tree, you and me…