29 September 2012

And Boom

     She laughs on the way in the car, as I grab her hand and we make a joke about something.  It was only a few hours ago, but I don't recall what the joke was now, yet I still recall the tiniest details of her so very long ago.  One of the mysteries of Time, I suppose. 

     Big A is heading off to her first homecoming dance tonight.  Dress shopping last week I had to stand in the back of her, biting my lips, trying to think of the funniest moments that I've ever had and yet, again, more moments that I couldn't recall.  

All I could remember was the first dress that I put on her the day I brought her home from the hospital.  A day that she fit within my arms, a day that she had baby fat and dimpled thighs and the most precious feet and toes.

     "You'll have to give me a break today, kiddo," I said.  "The very first time I held your toes was through my skin, right here.  You were kicking so hard and I actually grabbed your foot."  It was surreal, I told her.  And somehow, not as surreal as that moment with her sitting beside me in the passenger seat, not safely secured behind me in her car seat, where, when I look just right, I can still see her, tiny feet and all.

     I don't remember my mom crying when I went to my first dances.  I look about and I don't see many other mothers crying on the first day of school or at the graduation ceremonies we've had along the way to high school and I wonder what went wrong inside of me; I remember always wondering that...why I would cry so easily, whether at something sad or beautiful or happy, or all of those things.  I thought one day I would have the answer and rather the answer seems farther and farther away. 

     It's rocky, the waters that Big A and I travel, and I am always grateful for the lulls in the winds where the boat can rock gently, as I once rocked her over and over and over until one day I didn't.  

There was nothing special about that day, no warning, no hint; just one day, boom, it hit me as I was washing the dishes, "I didn't rock Big A yesterday." 

 I remember the plate I was washing at that moment.  It had a blue flowered pattern around the outside of it and a single leaf at the very center of it. I remember scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing until there was a little part of the leaf gone.  I remember thinking, "There.  Now you know how it feels to have a part of you missing."  

     I am blinded and dumbfounded by her.  I tell her all the time how amazing I think she is.  Sometimes she looks up at me and murmurs a thank you, sometimes she nods.  I don't know how to make sure she understands what she is to me.  I don't know that there are words for that.

     "It's like when you were born, a little knife was placed inside of my heart," I said as I grasped her hand, "and each moment that you grow, each time that I look at you, it twists a little more."  She doesn't know.  How could she know?  I didn't know, which is, I suppose, why I keep wanting to make her understand.

     It's that today, somehow, the baby that slept upon my chest so soundly just a moment ago is heading off to her first big high school event.  

     I turned my head, just for a moment, and boom......
Adriana Burkhart Jennifer Barko
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Sarah said...


Sarah said...


Sharon Pressey said...

So true, all of it and the feelings never lessen. You just wonder where life has gone and then you look and see it moving right in front of your eyes every time you look at your child and you become more thankful of every second you have with them. Life goes way too fast!

luckyzmom said...

The dress was pink and white gingham and the tears come just as easily now that she has children of her own. Your words are like a magic spoon that stirs up the yearning in my heart and splatters it across my thoughts in living color.

RebeccaBP said...

Dammit! It's not often that I read something that makes me bawl like I am right now! Running to grab my "baby" and rock her...