Saturday, May 18, 2013


My boys have been away this weekend at Father/Son camp in North Carolina. As a result, K & I have had the precious gift of a few days of girl time. Our bonding activities have covered the gamete, from manicures to soccer games to preparing and enjoying dinner at home by candlelight. Both of us have admitted being a bit freaked out by the quiet of our home minus its usual testosterone.

I feel as if the last couple of days have enabled me to really study my girl--how she's grown, what stirs her heart, what makes her laugh. We've discussed topics from shaving legs and wearing undergarments to bullies, kittens and her abandoned plans to be President of the United States. I simply adore that child--and I really enjoy being with her as well.

This afternoon we travelled to the nearby American Girl store for a grand finale experience. Even as I planned it, I rolled my eyes at the overcommercialization of it all. (I am too often a conflicted semi-hypocrite.) My doubts were quieted significantly when we arrived and I saw the light in her eyes--permission to just be a wonder-filled little girl. Although she enjoyed looking at every piece of merchandise offered in the store (twice), she ultimately chose to spend her allowance elsewhere on a gift for a friend and a carousel ride.

I am admittedly feeling sappy about 9th birthdays next weekend, but as I watched my big girl on the carousel tonight, its rotation felt quite symbolic. Like the Earth going around the sun, the turning of the carousel seemed to mark the passage of time. Each lap as she slipped out of sight and then remerged, it was as if she were aging before my very eyes. My mind flashed to mental pictures of the carousel rides I recall with our kiddos through the years--on their 2nd birthdays at the Atlanta zoo, at Disney when they were 4 years old,  the carousel on the National Mall in DC when they were 6 and countless rides at the valley fair and local mall on random days in between. How could that little lady be my 2 lb 12 oz preemie?

As I watched other young parents holding tightly to their unbalanced wee ones, I marveled at the growth of mine. In this, like many other things these days, her independence is such that I am relegated to sidelines. But instead of making me weepy, I rejoiced at the confident, happy girl grinning back at me. This is the point, right?
I snapped another photo both with my phone and with my heart. Then we came back to the hotel to watch Animal Planet in our pjs and plan for tomorrow: breakfast in bed and a swim in the hotel pool before church.

She's delighted by all these adventures and I'm most pleased with the travelling companion.

These are sweet, sweet days.


Jennifer said...

Looks like so much fun! I look forward to those days too but sure do love having a four year old.

Jill said...

Those are sweet memories! On the numerous occasions I've had my boy on the carousel, I also marvel that such a sweet and fun memory-maker is smack dab in the middle of the mall food court! Ha!