“Momma what does metamorphosis mean?” she asks me.
Head buried in her book.
My eyes trained on the road in front of me.
“It means to change or grow in a dramatic fashion, like the butterfly from its cocoon” I tell her.
I try to explain more but she interrupts.
“Okay Momma I got it. Don’t need anymore”.
Just like that the moment is lost but I can’t stop thinking about her question.
I want to tell her that she on the cusp of adolescence is the definition of the word.
I watch her everyday moving away from those things that defined her as a little girl and marching straight forward into a new world.
No more dolls or dress up clothes. Cartoons are a thing of the past.
She spends her days reading her vet books and talking about the horses she loves.
Long gone are coloring books and cardboard boxes made into playhouses.
She facetimes with her friends and does homework on a computer.
Once upon a time she would crawl into my bed each night, nestle in close and tell me she was afraid of the noises outside her window.
Now she sleeps in until 9 and remarks about those noises inside of the house that keep her from more hours of slumber.
Desperately I want to press the pause button.
Hold on to these days where she still longs for my voice to be the last she hears before she falls asleep, where I can ease her worries by simply telling her “momma will handle it”.
These years of parenting, I am finding are some of the hardest. Not physically hard like the years of changing diapers and little sleep, when your body belonged to your child. No these years are mentally trying as your head encourages you to give them wings but your heart wants nothing more than to keep them in your arms.
I cried yesterday when she brought home a form for me to sign.
Right there in front of her I cried over a piece of paper. It requested her full name for inclusion on the 5th grade tile that would be placed in the entryway of her elementary school to remember the graduating class.
She laughed hysterically at my tears and then excused herself to use the bathroom.
She emerged a few moments later, the remnants of tears on her cheeks as well.
Maybe she’s not in such a hurry.