She Can’t Be 13, Yet

A minute ago she got that little yellow duck. It was only a minute ago. She hasn’t left it behind for a night on purpose, I think, ever.

Until she did. With that teddy bear.

13

She only got that bear a minute ago, too. It’s worn and loved, but she’s only had it a minute.

She only started calling me “mom” a minute ago. She only started doing “times” a minute ago, and she only had her very first soccer practice, the one where she wore shin guards that were as long as her entire legs, a minute ago.

Josie Preschool Grad copy
She only graduated preschool a minute ago.

She stopped using sippy cups just a minute ago.  She only told me a minute ago, when she was 2, to carry her dolls because she “had too much shit” in her hands.

She only barfed cocoa puffs and cucumbers all over the backseat, while buckled tight into her carseat’s five-point harness, a minute ago – as I just uttered, “Oh baby,” and quickly tried to find a place to pull over.

12 b

She stopped wearing those thick plastic clogs just a minute ago, and she dared to jump off the diving board for the first time…just a minute ago.

I swear. It was all only a minute ago.

But it wasn’t. It’s been 13 years. Her foot is bigger than mine and she’s borrowing my clothes.

She’s had too many snow cones to count, used hundreds of band-aids, grown out of dozens of pairs of shoes, laughed infinitely, cried less and had her ears pierced a few times because it just never seemed to work out right.

13 d

She’s reached a point where she cries over the tragic characters in a book she is reading, she longs for adventure, she can’t ever receive enough hugs and she is growing more comfortable around the adults than the kids in the family.

I wish with a torn heart that her next few years take longer than a minute, but go as fast as she needs them to. I need the moments that need to stick, to stick. I need painful lessons to pass but plant a seed for growth.

I need for her to have everything she needs for her to be her. And I’ll make sure she gets it. Because I only really get a minute with her.