Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Life Cycles

For two years, it has been on my to do list.

Two summers came and went without success.

This year I took him aside and told him it was his job.  This summer.  It had to happen.

Funny how important things can seem.  Funny how, sometimes, things you've been trying to force can happen quite simply in their very own time.

All it took was a sunny Spring day.  She spied that rusty, hand me down bike in the back of the garage and asked me to get it out.  Her brother offered to rinse the spiderwebs off with the hose.  Together they wheeled it down the street to the home of a cousin who was rumored to have a bike pump.

All this time I was doing what Mamas do - sweeping and putting babies down for naps and warm laundry into skyscraper stacks.  I lost track of time, but it couldn't have been long, when -

"Mom!  She's riding it!  She did it!"

I rushed out and saw, yes, right there in the bumpy gravel drive between our home and the neighbors.  Her face was flushed and her brow furrowed in concentration, determination seeping from every pore.

She skidded to a stop right in front of me and looked up with the biggest grin I'd ever seen.


Later, after supper when Daddy had taken the boys to the ball game, I put that tired baby on my back and sister on a trike and we take a short turn around the neighborhood.  She rides on ahead and I am all amazement at how those wobbles had worked their way out in just one afternoon.  She's got it.  I watch her as we walk along, sitting high in the bike seat, her long hair brushing her waist.  Those legs, once the chubbiest I'd ever seen on a baby, now a good 2 inches too long for her jeans.  Scuffed mary jane shoes and that space where she's missing a tooth.  She's 7 years old these days and it seems to me so very grown. I don't know how it happened.

She was the baby who never wanted to grow up.  The one who refused to sleep unless she was in my arms, even as a toddler.  She'd fall into deep slumber and I'd try to sneak away but she'd wake up and cry out for me again and again and again.  She's always been that way, wanting more of me, always.  I'd been the one who would nudge her on, encourage her to grow and reach and move on, even when she resisted.

I wonder at that, now.  How I thought I knew.  Thought I was doing what was best.  She's my big girl, after all, the second in a large family.  I didn't realize then that she might be the one to know when she was ready.

We make our way home and she pauses in front of our house.  She turns to face me and flashes that smile, the proud one, at me.  She gives me the thumbs up and cycles off down the driveway.

She figured it all out in her own time, living her life according to the rhythm of her very own life cycle.  And once again I'm blown away.

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  1. What beautiful praise for your daughter. That confidence will carry her far. And I'm sure she'll treasure these words when you share them with her one day.

  2. Such a beautiful post (I think I say that alot about your posts :)

    I often face criticism for letting my little man figure out things on his own time, in his own way. Sometimes it makes me second guess myself, but after reading this, never again. Thank you.

    This will be such an amazing post for your daughter to read years from now.


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