Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Small Moments Count the Most

I once had the thought that I really know very little about my mom. I didn’t know her as a child or a young adult. For the first couple of years I wasn’t really conscious of her as a separate being and have very little memory of that time anyway. For many years I only thought of her as Mom and not as a person. If I know so little about my mom as an individual, who I’ve known my whole life, how well do I really know anyone?

As my daughter grows up, I think I know everything about her. Since I’ve known her for her whole life, not just mine. Since I’ve been there since the very beginning. Day one. I know she had not a single birthmark. I know when she broke her collarbone, who her first best friend was. I know her favorite foods, her favorite color, her favorite TV show. I know what she wants to be when she grows up and how sweet she looks when she sleeps. On top of it all, she tells me everything. More than I want to know sometimes.

Once in a while, though, she surprises me. Like last night.

She wants to get a job. She wants to go to ballet camp next year. Yesterday she told me her bright idea of how she is going to earn money. She is going to get gigs around town playing her guitar and singing. Um. She just started playing at the beginning of the school year. She also said this is how she is going to start her career. She’s 14 and starting her “career”. I sort of brushed it off. I didn’t take it seriously, but I’m also not going to tell her she can’t. That it won’t happen. Because who knows? Maybe it will. Maybe she will be the one out of thousands who makes it. I don’t tell her that she can’t or won’t.

She asked to play a couple of songs for me that she’s been working on. That’s when it happened. Her voice was beautiful. The songs she chose were ones I had never heard but very lovely. Fitting. When did this happen? How did I not know? This is my child? My heart swelled. I thought it would burst.

Halfway through the third song, a tear rolled down my cheek. By the time she was done, I needed a box of Kleenex. And in her teenaged-attitude voice she asked, “Are you crying??” I asked her to sing it again and she rolled her eyes a bit and told me not to cry again. I couldn’t promise I wouldn’t. She really hated me clapping and cheering.

She was so beautiful and I could actually envision her playing somewhere. I told her this and then I planned her outfit. Before I could even say it, she said the exact outfit I was thinking of, down to the boots! Ha. I guess I know her pretty well after all.

Surprises are nice sometimes too.


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