Listening Ears

This morning over cereal, Miss G was telling me about a dream she had last night. It’s so rare to get more than one sentence at a time out of that kid-- any kid, really, those Kings and Queens of Monosyllabia. I should be more appreciative. And I do always wonder what’s going on in that crazy, busy brain of hers. But I couldn’t concentrate on her words. I was distracted instead by how her slim her hands have become, how her face is changing shape. I see translucent echoes of the woman she’ll become (all too soon) crazily overlapping with chubby remnants of the toddler she hasn’t been in years. It’s disorienting.

I listened better when she was younger. I guess once kids are past the age of swallowing legos, we stop paying full attention. They don’t want full attention anyway; they want to play with their friends and explore their independence. They gradually fade out of our lives and form their own, popping back into full focus only at times of emotional crisis-- like needing poster board for the science fair project.

These in-between years of 7 on up were not my favorite-- but now I wish I would’ve remembered that every stage only lasts a little while, and been more appreciative of my child during The Age of Yick. While organizing photos last week, I could not believe the difference in the girls over the last year or two. They are not little girls anymore. When did that happen? I was right here.

I nodded and smiled as Miss G talked, meanwhile thinking about the person she’s turning into, imagining who she’ll be in 10 years, 20 years. I wonder what age she has to reach before I can just be in the moment and listen to what she’s saying. Or maybe it never stops, and all our parents still see 4-year-olds when we’re talking to them.

1 comment:

  1. Remember 'Father of the Bride' when Steve Martin sees his daughter as a little girl telling him she is getting married? This, I think, is how it always is. Aren't we just so lucky to be their parents? xoxox0