Tonight I had the rare opportunity to spend an entire evening with Adelade. No boys allowed, no babies allowed. We got all dressed up, went to a real restaurant for dinner, and went to see The Nutcracker.
I let her choose the restaurant, and she went for Olive Garden. Felicity (her favorite doll) came along and had an honored seat at our table. We sat and ate and chatted and laughed and told terrible jokes we made up, and I suddenly had a flashback.
I remembered sitting in the McDonald’s in Eastland, Texas, across the table from a three year old Adelade (a little nervous that she would fall off of her swiveling chair). I thought about how I realized in that moment that this person I had birthed was a real live human, I mean, someone you could really carry on a reasonable conversation with. I even remember calling my mom after that lunch so many years ago and telling her, “Adelade can actually be talked to! And she talks back! And we ate lunch and chatted about real stuff! This is awesome!”
And here I was tonight, hanging out with that same little girl, only tonight she was wearing lipgloss because it was a special occasion, and she went to the bathroom alone (even though it was only five feet away and I almost had heart failure before she came back), and she said intelligent, funny things. And she made interesting observations that inspired me. And she was happy. So, so happy. To be with me.
Believe me, the feeling was mutual.
I know if you read my blog much you might get dizzy trying to decipher my feelings about my kids growing up. Is she happy about it? Does she cry all day over it? I can’t keep up with this lady! you may be thinking. Well, join the club. Because the truth is, this is a bittersweet adventure, and as much as I mourn the loss of littleness, I am enjoying the start of new phases and am excited about the future.
Times, they are a-changing. But, no matter how big she gets or how many times I sit across from my girl and chat and laugh, I think my mind’s eye will always picture that curly-haired three year old blondie talking non-stop over a Happy Meal. I loved that girl. But, I might love this long-haired, thoughtful beauty even more.
One thing I’ve noticed that doesn’t change during all this changing: just when you think you can’t love your children any more, you do.