I spend a lot of time writing teary pieces about my babies growing up. I know I often sound like a broken record as I describe my experiences weeping softly while I pass by the infant section of Target, knowing it holds nothing that I will ever need again.
Today I will take a different approach. This isn't about my kids growing up and away from me, but about me, savoring the fact that I am still somebody's little girl. My mother and stepfather are visiting for the week and nobody cares for me like they do. Nobody. My folks are interested in absolutely everything about me, in a way that nobody else in their right mind would be. I could blab for 30 minutes about my laundry and they would listen intently. God bless them.
Yes, it's true there are times when the (often wise) advice my mother doles out about skin care or how long chicken keeps wears on my nerves (mom, I'm a grown woman, I know) but who else cares enough to lose sleep over the state of my smoke detectors? Who else is actually interested in every single picture that I post of my children? Who else can look at me and remember the little girl that I once was?
It struck me yesterday when my mother accompanied me to the salon while I spent two hours getting highlights and a trim. She sat in the chair next to me, knitting and occasionally making conversation. She was happy enough just to be spending time with me, any time at all. After my hair was done we went into the boutique next door and I tried on a little black dress that I just couldn't live without. I am of course more than capable of buying my own clothing these days, but as I was hemming and hawing about the expense my mother took the dress from me and whipped out her credit card, in that moment I realized that I am still her little girl, and that felt great.
After my grandfather passed away at 94, I remember my mom telling me with tears in her eyes those very same things. That even though there was a role reversal in the recent years, and she was doing the care taking, her father still made her feel a way that nobody else could. She grieved that loss, that she was now no longer somebody's daughter. Would anyone ever want to just sit with her in the living room in silence again and just watch her knit? She not only lost her parent, but she lost her place in life as as someone's child.
I think of that when I am with my parents. How special the time is. How much I like being their daughter. I am lucky to have parents who love and care for me the way that they do. I want to cherish my time with them because I know someday, I won't be anyone's little girl anymore.
Thank you mom, for making making me feel like a treasured child again. And thank you for making me look like your sister in my new little black dress!