Is today the day?

daughter growing upThat’s the question I ask myself almost daily.

Is it today that Margaret, my 12-year old daughter, is suddenly going to want me to stop singing her a soft lullaby as she falls to sleep as I have done since she’s a baby?  Is today the last day that she will ask me to explain the definition of a word to her?  Is it today that she will be embarrassed to give me a hug and a kiss in public?

Today, I had to go onto her school campus to speak with school staff about a parent portal I need access to.  Margaret found me and her sister easily and we walked together to the IT office. The entire time I was thinking, “is she walking slightly ahead of me or is that my imagination?”  As we were leaving the IT office, I decided to preempt her so I turned to her.

Me: “Margaret, are you embarrassed to be seen with me in front of your friends?”

Margaret: “No mom, I’m not embarrassed to be seen with you, I’m embarrassed of what you’re going to say!”

I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved or insulted.  So I did what I do best: asked more questions.

Me: “Margaret, what have I said that embarrassed you?”

Margaret: “What you said just now, mom!”

Me: “What did I say?

Margaret: “You asked me if I’m embarrassed to be seen with you!  In front of everyone!”

Me, (very defensively): “But I didn’t yell it, Margaret.  Nobody heard me but you and your sister!”

The other night, I was too frustrated to sing and pray over Margaret when she went to bed.  I know that sounds like I’m an awful human being but I needed to settle down before I could genuinely pray for her.  (I could have maybe gotten away with faking the song but I am fairly certain God would have known it if I faked the prayer.)  So I kissed her head and walked out of her bedroom.  I immediately heard her ask in a soft, disappointed voice, “you’re not going to sing to me or pray over me?” I replied, “Not going to sing but I’ll pray over you later.”  Then, the question came barrelling through my head:  “Is today the day? If so, what have I done?  This may be my last chance”!   I didn’t go back in until later, but the next night I was met with the same question.  I pushed it out of my head and I just embraced the moment, fleeting as it might be in the end.

I don’t know if it’s healthy or not to have this question on the forefront of my mind all the time.  I heard a woman tonight liken the process of our children growing up to a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly – if we don’t pay attention, we’ll miss it happen before our very eyes.  If this question is what keeps me focused on all that is here and now in my parenthood, then I am grateful for it.  Because I am the kind of easily distracted person who misses a lot of things I shouldn’t miss. And I do not want to miss my daughter’s magical transformation into a butterfly.  Even if it means she will no longer want me to sing her to sleep at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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