I link up with Lisa-Jo on Fridays for a writing flash mob…throwing caution to the wind and gathering to share what a few minutes of free writing can buy.
Today’s topic: AFTER
The squabbles in the back seat reached a crescendo of “let me do it!” and “no, let me do it!” and I had to remind my 9 year-old that her 3 year-old little brother can, in fact, do it.
She let go and fell into a slump with her head on her hands. I wanted to ignore it — I really, really wanted to — but felt that all-too-familiar gentle nudge that I shouldn’t. So I pulled over to the side of the mountainous road and asked if she was okay.
With huge tears in her eyes she lifted her head exclaimed, “I don’t want Paxton to grow up! I want him to stay little forever!”
I rubbed her knee and looked deep into her eyes. “Oh honey, I know you do. It’s exactly how I feel every day about both of you. But you know what? He’s still going to love you more than anything, even after he can do things for himself.”
“How do you know?”
“Because you do a lot of things for yourself without my help, but you still love me, right?”
She nodded and dried her tears and joined in on what her baby brother was doing.
I know what she was thinking — that after he grows up he won’t want to sit with her at the computer playing games anymore. That he won’t hold her hand when they ride the carousel. That he won’t want her to sleep on the top bunk on the weekends. That he won’t choose her over anyone else to play with.
That she won’t confide in me anymore and will turn to a friend instead. That the day is coming where she won’t choose me to put her to bed, regardless of the arguments we had that day. That she won’t hold my hand while we walk around Target, or want to do American Girl Mommy and Me games together.
I know those fears of after. And they make me want to fall into a slump with my head on my hands, too. But like my girl, I have to embrace the changes and choose to see love even when I feel unwanted.
Because the love never goes away, it simply grows up.