A while ago as I was going down the breakfast line of heads of hair to be done, I was trying to distract Claire and Lucy from the tangles I was brushing out. (Yeah, the "Happy Hair" award may be losing it's zing just a tad.)
So I started in with a story about a dragon that came and made friends with them and flew them on it's back to school. They looked at me wide-eyed...completely enthralled (I love soaking in moments like that...it makes my heart swell a little to think about it even now all this time later). No more tears about the tangles (sometimes distraction works, sometimes it doesn't). Then the bus showed up, along with the gaggle of bike-riders, and after leaving me with kisses and hugs they were out the door to school.
Then the other night when I was tucking Lucy in she asked for the dragon story again. I was surprised she remembered it (it had been a while), but I indulged her and told how this time the dragon came and jumped on the trampoline with her and her sisters and took them on some more rides on it's back. She smiled up at me, gave me my customary hugs and kisses, and I left.
A few minutes later I heard desperate screaming from her bedroom. This was not the regular, nightly antics to stay up later. She was scared. When I ran up to see what in the world was wrong she started blubbering on and on about how she didn't want the dragon to come.
As I lay there by her side trying to figure out how to unlock myself from her vise-grip and get back to all the things stretched out before me that I needed to get done that night, a sad thought washed over me: my kids are about done having bad dreams. They're growing up. And that thought made me melt right into her hug. I followed up the dragon story with a cute little bunny story that seemed to soothe her fears, and reluctantly, I left.
My kids are getting so independent (which I love), but I'm going to miss things like this...a silly worry that a dragon will really show up at our house. Lucy will grow right out of that just like my other kids have. And it made me a little melancholy. It made me want to just hold on to that moment and engrave it in my memory.
It made me realize how much I already miss some of the silly questions they used to ask (even though they were so annoying at the time...you know, the continual "why's"), and the wonder when they discovered new things, even mundane things like swinging them on the swings at the park or buckling them into their carseats over and over and over and over. It's all fading away. Some things are getting so much easier. My older kids can babysit the younger ones. They can take their own baths. They can choose semi-decent matching outfits. And I'm so thankful for all that.
But I'm still going to miss the little things. Little things like how my girls looked when they all sat together the other night trying to indulge me by being serious for a little photo shoot:
(Notice how the progression from "serious" gets a little more diluted with each picture until they're all laughing...they haven't had much practice with the serious stuff.)Gradually that little bit of baby-fat in their cheeks will disappear. They will continue to grow taller. They will become even more witty and our friendship will get even deeper (I hope).
But I'll still always have a little melancholy spot in my heart missing the "littleness" of them right now.