I step softly into her room, unsure if she is yet awake. She’s not. I bend to kiss her softly on the forehead but pause to watch her sleep instead. So peaceful. So content. In her face I see the little girl she once was and, seconds later, the woman she will become. I long for both and yet hold on tightly to the here and now. Every mother’s dilemma, I suppose.
I wonder what parts of her she will carry into adulthood. Her tenacity? (This one both frustrates and pleases me in equal measure.) Her quick wit? Her resourcefulness? I hope these never leave her.
Will she always draw when she’s hurting? Will she still stiffen her leg when annoyed? Will her husband know her so completely that he, too, will heed these signs? Will there be new ones for him to learn?
Which parts will she choose to shed; work to change? How much of my little girl will remain?
I cherish the memories of each and every season of her lifetime but I do not wish for her to stay still, frozen in time. I want what every good mother wants for her children. I want her to blossom, to grow, to experience all the delights this world has to offer. I want her to struggle through hardships and pull herself up and out with her own two hands. I want her to cry so that when she laughs it feels all the sweeter. I want disappointment to spur her on to work even harder next time. I want her to fear only fear itself and to love deeply and completely with her whole heart. I want her to say yes to adventure and to be comfortable saying no when the world asks too much of her at once. I want her to choose wisely and never by default. Mostly I want her to be happy…whatever that looks like. Not every day, of course, but I want for her to smile knowingly when she looks back on her life well-lived, and to think of the sum total of it as good. That’s what I want for this child of mine — a good life, well-lived.
She is my one grand adventure that I never want to end, the story I can’t put down. She makes me laugh and cry and feel and live. Because of her I strive to be my best self, my bravest self. And soon my bravest self will take a deep breath and drive away, leaving her hundreds of miles from home to start her own grand adventure. I will cry and I will miss her and eventually she will feel the same. And we will both move forward on our paths which will diverge for the first time in many years.
But for now, for now she sleeps; peaceful in her bed under her favorite blanket, the dog curled up in the crook of her leg. I gently brush the hair from her face and kiss her softly. She stirs and smiles before drifting back off and I quietly retreat from her room, grateful to have her for one more day.
© Kelly Rainey and http://www.500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2015.
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