Child says, “Seriously, mommy.” kind of a lot.
It sounds like an accusation. Like, “How dare you doubt my perfect logic? I am seven, and therefore infallible.”
Seven. Six plus one. Five plus two. Wasn’t she an infant mere months ago? How is this possible?
Here’s Child over her cake. I like seven. I liked six. Five was all right. Before that, I did what needed doing, but I don’t really know how or what. I think I’m the sort of mom who will enjoy her kid more with each passing year. I have little use for the antics of the pre-pubescents. I am interested in misery and suffering and awkwardness.
I also like life more with each passing year. I do not feel old, especially, though I say I do. I feel jaded and am lately nostalgic for my wide-eyed acceptance and eagerness toward the world around me. Missing that feels like age, but I am energetic and healthy and only have a few gray hairs. I am relieved by the way in which being experienced assuages self-consciousness. I no longer feel the need to apologize for myself. I no longer judge myself by others’ standards.
Child reminds me of inexperience. She is so full of energy and hope. She loves people and living. She runs everywhere. I want to put her in a padded box and protect her forever.
She did not notice the shitty astroturf or the teenaged litter or rained-on paint containers and brushes all over the mini golf course we found outside of Baltimore. She thought the non-flush holes were funny indicators of the adults’ incompetence. She was thrilled to have another chance at a freak hole-in-one, which she got. I don’t think it’s freak. I think I am the arty, uncoordinated mom of an athletic child.
It hardly seems possible that seven years have passed; when I try to think through all the specific events, it’s like looking at a blur of growth and conflict and joy. For both of us.
So I leave you with this cake picture which is funny because, like the Sprats, between us, Child and I can lick the platter clean.