Lately Briar has been preoccupied with the idea of growing up. She seems convinced that by doing so, I will somehow cease to be her mom. Last night we talked, nose-to-nose about what growing up really means. I tried to explain that as she gets older she won’t want to spend time with me.
“Instead of being annoyed with your sisters, you’ll be annoyed with Dad and me.”
She rolled her eyes, as if.
I tried a different tack. “You know how you helped me rake leaves today while your sisters played out back? That was incredible and it was very grown up. As you grow up, we’ll keep doing that—discovering new things together.” I watched her as she considered it. No go. She took a breath. I watched her perfect, little face begin to crumple.
I saw shimmers of my own tendency toward melancholy. Not a hopeless melancholy, more of an emphasis on the things that are so perfect that you literally need to mourn that they won’t last forever. Her shoulders heaved and she choked out a squeaky, “It’s just so tragic, mom.”
I put my hand on her back and pressed my face into hers. “You know what honey? It isn’t, it’s beautiful. The thing about life, about us, is that we feel so much. The fact that you are crying isn’t a bad thing, it means you love this time. I do too, but no matter what happens, I will always be your mom and this time will always exist. I still remember the sounds you made as a baby, they way your tiny head smelled when I pressed my face in to kiss you. I remember how excited Daddy and I were to meet you. Briar, I love that you cry and worry about these things. It reminds me a little bit of how I was at your age, but you are way funnier.”
“I am? I’m funny?” She asked, beaming with a bright red, sniffly nose that looked exactly the way it did when she was a baby.
“Yes. You are.”
I rubbed her back until she fell asleep and then as I slipped out my own tears came.
There are so many things happening in our world right now that make absolutely no sense. My heart aches for a NYC family. There is no way that any news report can ever make sense of what has happened. I don’t want to believe, can’t seem to stop my mind from thinking of it, but what I can do is stop feeding the monster.
Let the family rest. Let the story not become another 24/7 blaring, dehumanizing mess. Sometimes the only thing to do is cry in reverence.