She doesn’t wait for you. Not even a glance over her shoulder to see if you’re keeping up.
One big, fat, full, exploding stretched out second. You drown in that second.
You’re sad and happy and proud and amazed and amused and shocked. That you’re here. That y’all made it this far.
In this moment. You know it’s happening. It’s right in front of you.
You realize that the clock is ticking. In a few short years, she will explode into the world. Will go places where you cannot go. Because that particular adventure belongs to her. All her.
You’ve got so much left to teach her, to tell her, to show her. You’ve haven’t even got half of it right.
You haven’t yelled but you’ve used soft words with sharp edges that jump like a rock skipping across water.
There have been days where you’ve been all about the “not right now” because you’re too tired, too busy, too impatient, too fed up, too grown up.
You’ve wasted so much time tallying up what you haven’t been able to give her. You’ve wasted time arguing about skinny jeans and homework and dishes and socks that settle in the kitchen. You’ve spent evenings counting the seconds till bedtime. For quiet. Uninterrupted time.
And right here, on this sidewalk, you realize you’re going to get those things. Not much longer. And you don’t want them. Not all the time. Not yet.
It’s all turned around. You have to go. After her. Now you follow her. You walk beside her. You hold her hand.
You have to make sure you teach her the freedom power of a good cry. How shakin’ your groove thing around the house while singing really really loud or just curling up on the couch under a ton of blankets can take a girl from facedown on the floor to sticking her face in the clouds on a mountaintop. You have to make sure she knows how to be the gasoline and not the fire in every one of those dreams pushing against the inside of her head.
It’s not about stranger danger anymore. Or veggies before dessert. Those aren’t the only things she needs you to show her. It’s about feeling deep and living big from the inside out. It’s about jumping in, and wading through and laying on your back with the sun on your face. And letting that be enough.
So go. Go. She’s moving quickly.