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A Day in Her Life

At times I think she is better suited as his mommy than I am. 

If he is to potty train in this lifetime, she will likely be the one who walks him through it.   He trusts her, and on his own time schedule will do just about anything she suggests, even if it’s aiming his pee pee at the toilet.  Only yesterday I overheard her giving him a heart-to heart in the middle of the backyard.  She held his hand with one of hers and pointed with her other toward the apple trees and explained, “we only pick the apples when they’re red. Okay, Buddy?” And he nodded and said, “okay, sis,” and then the two of them zipped off to the swings, important matters far behind. 

At 8 p.m. they hoot and holler and waste more bars of soap in the bath washing the walls than they do themselves.  Then two naked bodies dragging wet towels come bounding down the stairs with the announcement that he climbed out of the tub all by himself.  She couldn’t be prouder.

Which is why sometimes, we forget that she’s six.  We forget that six year olds occasionally stand on one leg or walk around when they eat losing half their egg salad to the floor.  Or leave their swimsuits inside out in the hallway, or cut out 13 paper snowflakes to tape onto every door in the house and then abandon their paper scraps right where they fell.  Or pack library books to grandma’s house with nary a care about bringing them home.  Or moan, “I just want to spend time with you,” while I stir hot jam on the stove, answer the phone and sweat to keep an eyeball on her brother. 

And we forget that at six, it’s still okay to do these things.

Which is why I pray today that I remember that this six year old girl with the missing front teeth still wants to cuddle.  Still wants to peel the butter wrapper and measure the flour for me; still dreams about doing crafts with glitter. Still lives for being tickled.

And who might still play along when I ask, “Guess what?”  And then smile and say, “what?” And I’ll whisper or shout or wink, “I love you!”  But then since her brother is calling from upstairs, she’ll keep it quick, “I love you, too, Mom!” and dash to his rescue.  My loving six year old girl.

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