Friday, June 5, 2009

Stay With Me... It's Not Nearly As Sappy as You Think It's Going to Be

I read this article in, I think, Salon a few years back in which a man recounts a moment standing on the street with his six or seven year old daughter waiting for a light to change. She slips her hand into his as they stand there and it hits him that this might be the last time she slips her hand in his in that way that little kids do.

I've had that story a lot on my mind as we approach a milestone with Laney. She's finishing up kindergarten next week, leaving the teacher and class she's been in for three years. And it strikes me again and again that she's growing up so fast.

I'm not much of a hand holder. I blame my short fingers. Instead, these days I can't hold her enough. She jumps up in my arms and I relish the way she feels, her legs wrapped around me, her perfect little bottom on my arms, her face crannied right in my shoulder. I love it. I love it and I relish it because I know the time when I'll be able to walk around with an armful of Laney is short and coming swift to an end.

Which leads me to tonight. I was lying in bed with Laney, arms and legs all intertwined, having that yummy sleepytime conversation. I was waxing nostalgic about trips I took to Florida when I was a kid; describing the Heath Bar Milkshakes my mother made and how we'd put on my father's tee shirts when we got sun burnt. I was reverentially swimming in metaphor and subtext about the dearness and the fleetingness of childhood. At which point, we had the following exchange:

Me: [blathering on nostalgically about my childhood trips]
Laney: Mommy?
Me: Yes, my darling girl
Laney: You know what I like?
Me: What?
Laney: I like it when my nails aren't trimmed when it's hot out to put my nails on my neck when it's sweaty and kind of flick the sweat.

She. Kills. Me. I think she may be the funniest five year old in Chicago.