My daughter just came down here to talk to me. She had been upstairs in her room, doing...things... and felt like she needed a hug. So she did what she does when she is feeling light-headed with joy these days...she sat on my lap and hugged me! Talking. Smiling. Feeling happy. In so many ways she is growing up right before my very eyes. What with the heels, make up, boys, cell phone, hanging with friends, private jokes, etc. She sat with her arms wrapped around me, loving me and holding on with all of her might. On and on she talked about the things going on in her life...and all I could see was Little Elizabeth, sitting on my knee.
She might have been annoyed if she has known that I was thinking along those lines... But I was.
Even as her teenage self tilted her head, grinned, and tossed her hair, my eyes saw her four-year-old cheeks, smooth and round. As she talked and laughed I glimpsed her Little Girl smile and I heard that long-gone, sweet lisp. Her eyes went round and sparkled as she talked about her day...while my mind's eye caught sight of those small, trusting and adoring blue eyes of yesteryear.
It happens too fast.
Every parent knows that.
They grow up too fast.
But, sitting here on my lap, for just a second, there she was:
My Little Girl.
I could clearly see her toddler- and preschool curls and her shell-pink cheeks, her sweet voice and her valentine lips, her giggly glee and her dimpled fists holding on tight with delight to the rusting chain on the park swing.
When we would swing together, we would put our cheeks side by side and just glory at our intimate nearness, a nearness that was ours alone. She would sit on my lap as we went back and forth on the swing...how her eyes would light up with delight. How she would hold on tight. How lovely her cheek felt on mine. Sometimes, if I squint my eyes, I can still see the sun behind that little head of blond hair as the swing's motion moved it around my face.
I remember feeling complete on that swing. I remember thinking, knowing, that those moments were pure perfection. They are the high summer days of her childhood. Golden days.
And here she sat, on my lap tonight, long legs tucked behind her, laughing about some antics of her friends, and for a moment, I felt the cool of the breeze and I felt her cheek pressed so sweetly against mine...