Monday, May 07, 2007

Sometimes I forget

that's a K ... B-O-O-K, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Dear Annabel,

Sometimes I forget how small you are; how young and inexperienced.

I know that must sound strange, but it has always been so.

When you were born everyone -- from grandparents to strangers on the street -- marveled at how tiny you were. It is only looking back at the pictures of your tiny self in someone's adult arms that I see what they meant.

When I held you, even for the first time, you felt substantial. You felt ready for the world. You felt larger than life.

This weekend held a lot of that same kind of disconnect. You and I went to a ceramics shop to make presents for mother's day (I hope the amahs aren't reading this) and to go shopping for other presents, as May seems to be the month that marks a lion's share of our family's individual celebrations.

The shopkeepers at the crafts store ran us through the procedure. You listened as carefully as I did; perhaps even more carefully. You even managed to ask a question when you saw others were asking questions, too. "Where do you get the stencils?"

As we paint, you call me by name. And, after more than one person snickers, I remind you that you are WELCOME to call me 'Mommy' whenever you like.

The journey between shops -- specifically the forty-five minutes it took to get from our arrival destination store (located at the 7 o'clock point on the plaza schematic) to the departure location (at the 3 o'clock position) was one of only a few indications I was spending the afternoon with someone under the age of 20.

You had to stop to see all the flowers and fountains. You wanted to walk on every bench like a gymnast and make assisted jumps back to the ground. You took your sweet time.

Once in the stores you picked out presents, and demanded we get cards we had to sign with our names right away ... and BABY. "Don't forget the baby."

Even at the toystore, where we made an impromptu stop so you could be an honorary employee (and use their employee-only toilet) I couldn't get you to settle your fancy on a particular toy so I could pay a little thank-you to the owner for his graciousness.

Everything looked wonderful to you, but you didn't really want to go home with anything new. You picked things up and said they were "so cute," and then put them back. After browsing for a half hour I begged you to just pick something. You settled on a package of stickers.

I know this won't last.

I know that in the near future we will go back to this plaza and you will walk past the bookstore sculptures, not giving them a second look. You will walk three paces ahead and hope none of your friends see me.

You will want me to stay at Starbucks with my laptop and my latte and not come looking for you.

But for now I'll just wait as you sit on the bench next to the silent readers and watch as you correct the pronunciation only you can hear. I'll try to remember just how strange and wonderful this time has been.




wordgirl said...

What lovely reflections about a growing daughter! I miss those years.

Andrea said...

sounds like an enchanting day.