The Princess has recital next week. We are in the big middle of preparations, altering what costumes need altering, planning a trip to the dance wear store for shoes, tights, eyelashes, and whatever else she may need. She has pictures this afternoon, and needs to arrive at the studio in hair, make-up, and costume (one of seven). I still do most of her make-up. I stood there, doing her eyes, looking eye-to-eye at her, and remembered so vividly when she was teeny-tiny, and I had to put her up on the tall stool to do her make-up. Before long, I’ll need her to sit on the tall stool so I can reach her face without looking up.
Where does it go? The time, I mean? We’ve been doing this for ten years. I clearly recall the little girl with the toddler belly, dressed up in her pink ballet costume, tiny ballet slippers on her feet, grinning ear-to-ear as she took the stage. Now she is nearly as tall as I, in pointe shoes, one of the “big girls” at the studio.
As she watched her cousin get married a couple of weeks ago, I could see her mentally cataloging things, taking notes in her head for her wedding years (and hopefully many years) from now. It’s too fast. She is closer to an adult than not. We have five years until she heads off to college – years I know will fly by even more quickly than the last thirteen. I remember bringing her home from the hospital, dressed in pink from head to toe. I remember getting to know her likes, her dislikes, her varied cries, her laugh, her spirit, her personality. I remember her first words, her first steps, the crazy way she would fall asleep wherever she was. And now we look eye-to-eye. She has her own mind. She has her own opinions.
I’m grateful the gift of being her mom, of the privilege of watching her grow up, the ability to be a spectator to her becoming. But oh how there are moments I long for more time with that teeny-tiny girl in the little pink leotard and tiny pink slippers.