A professional development day and my boyfriend visiting his mom in New York gave my daughter and me the rare opportunity to spend the entire day with just each other.
The morning was fairly lazy – Abby playing with her toys, me responding to emails and Skype chatting with my boyfriend . . . with the occasional relaying of messages between Abby and Kes. Last week, Kes stole Abby’s computer chair because his was broken. Abby said she thinks he stole her chair because she stole his sleeping spot to use as her reading nook. I should have known that their usual banter wouldn’t stop just because he was in another state!
The early afternoon rolled around and I pushed my laptop aside. I forgot that I needed to go to the bank. We bundled up and I asked Abby if she wanted to ride her scooter to bank. It’s an electric scooter that my dad gave her for her birthday. She’s only been out on it two or three times and still needed practice maintaining her balance.
What could have been a tedious trip chock full of come on Abby, hurry ups, was filled instead with a lot of great job!s and stop at corner and wait for mes. She did extremely well . . . just an occasional jump and scream with a reminder from me to use her brakes. I watched her as we traveled along, wondering how she could have possibly grown up so much right in front of me, wondering how I could make it all slow down.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to pick up a few things for dinner, and then headed home for a bit more time on the scooter. We came inside to warm up and Abby played with her dry erase activity board. We listened to music (a combination of the Dr. Horrible soundtrack and the High School Musical 2 soundtrack) while we played Dots, drew super heroes, and played MASH . . . I liked how her version of MASH included clothing colors, cars, TV shows, and friends . . . and not boys to one day marry (as I remember playing when I was in 2nd grade).
I thought about how my daughter, love of princesses and all, was still a very strong-willed and independent child. She has crushes on boys and talks about her future children (whom she says she will adopt because she doesn’t want the pain of childbirth), but also about her future career as a marine biologist who will do some acting on the side and then write a book.
She likes to play dress up and paint her nails, build with LEGOS, read chapter books and comic books, watch TV shows and movies about time travel, draw pictures and write stories, play video games, sing and dance (off-key and out of rhythm, just like her mother), ride her scooter and swing on swings . . . she’s wonderfully diverse . . . silly, sometimes overly emotional, intelligent, curious, creative, and so much more . . . and the greatest joy in my life is that I get to watch her grow up.
I made dinner while she read her book. We sat down to eat and talked about nothing in particular. After dinner we snuggled on the couch for a mini Doctor Who marathon. We watched Bad Wolf, The Parting of Ways, and The Christmas Invasion.
The first time we watched The Parting of Ways was the first time my daughter was introduced to concept of bisexuality. She was confused when Captain Jack kissed Rose and then kissed the Doctor. I told her that just how some boys like boys and some girls like girls, some people like both boys and girls and Captain Jack was one of those people. She accepted it easily and we went back to watching. I didn’t tell her that her mom was one of those people too.
As we watched that scene again, she giggled a little bit (there’s always giggling or ewwing with kissing). She mentioned how Captain Jack was one of her favorite characters. I told her that he was one of mine too. She said she’s going to have four kids when she grows up and she’s going to name them Rose, Martha, Mickey, and Captain Jack (yes, that will be my grandson’s full first name). I told her she was silly.
I thought about telling her that her mom is bisexual, but I didn’t. I’m not concerned about her reaction . . . I just don’t want to make a big deal out of something that’s not a big deal . . . I don’t want her to interpret my admission as something I think is a big deal . . . I want ease and normalcy and nonchalance. I know I’m over-thinking it.
Maybe the next time we watch a Captain Jack episode.
We finished our three episodes of Doctor Who and it was time for bed. I yawned and she told me she wasn’t tired. I told her she better get tired fast because her 4-day weekend was over! She laughed. She got ready for bed and I tucked her in.
She put her headphones on and I smiled as I walked out of the room listening to her sing (loudly and off-key, just like her mother). Our days are often spent filled with obligation and necessity. After school is snack time and then homework . . . maybe a few minutes to play before dinner . . . then cooking and eating . . . then we’re left with an hour and a half to squeeze in as much quality time as possible. It’s never enough.
I wish I had more days like this . . . more days to savor my child as she is now, as she will never be again . . . because it all moves so fast and there’s nothing I can do to slow it down.