As My Child Moves To Adulthood, Am I Treasuring The Moments? (a short read)

Larissa Dann

Here we are at the beach, my teen and me, taking photos at her request. With my daughter’s permission, I am posting not because of the picture, but because of her.

She is racing to adulthood, and I am barely keeping up.

I look back, and there she is, her silken-soft head cradled in the crook of my arm, one blue-lined dark pupil glued intently on me as she fills her belly from my breast.

Am I mindful of this moment, that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

Now she is stamping her foot, her bright eyes blazing, curls swinging in a defiant arc, “NO!”

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment, that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

Her squishy arms encircle my knees, then tug on my skirt. I look down to a pleading, upturned face, and hoist her up to my hips. Her head snuggles into the curve of my neck, her little-girl fragrance embedding into my memory. She mumbles her concerns.

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment, that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

Now my adult hand enfolds her infant fist, as I walk her to school, her voice serious, then tinkling with chuckles.

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

She comes searching for me, sitting on my lap, her dancer-legs long and resting on the floor. Her head finds its place on my neck, her arms around my shoulders, and she speaks. About pain, about inequity, about fear.

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment, that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

She comes home from a performance, her eyes sparkling, eager to share, in minute detail, her experience with me.

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment, that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

She pulls her chair up to mine, as I sit transfixed to the screen. “Pay attention to me . . .!” she pleads. Belatedly, I wrench my eyes from a two-dimensional world, and gaze in wonder at the many-dimensioned person who is my daughter.

Am I listening to her world? Am I mindful of this moment that will disappear with the next breath?

I take a step.

Today she seeks me, because she had devised a photo series in her mind's eye. She is learning to take pictures manually - she sets up the shot, the time of day, the pose. My role is simply to press the button.

Now, I am mindful. Of the sand under my feet. Of the soft breeze along the water. Of the emerging adult before me.

This is her world, and I am fortunate to be invited to step by her side.

Tomorrow, she will walk out on her own, taking a path of her devising, choosing her companions.

Always, always, she can look back, hold out her hand, and I will be there.

For her. With her. Her friend, her confident, her supporter.

Her mother.

© Larissa Dann 2018

Leave a comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.